Saw Palmetto is a small, palm-like plant native to North America. Native
Americans and early American settlers used the berries to treat problems associated with
the genitals, urinary tract and reproductive system. The herb saw palmetto is called the
"plant catheter" due to its support on the neck of the bladder and the prostate
in men. Saw Palmetto is widely used in Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and now the
U.S. for nutritionally benefiting the prostate and urinary tract. It has been marketed as
an aphrodisiac for both men and women.
The active constituents are volatile oil, steroids saponin, tannins, and polysaccharides.
Saw Palmetto is a tonic, meaning that it strengthens and tones body tissues.
For men, saw palmetto is used to support the health of prostate gland. Saw palmetto
extract works to prevent testosterone from converting into
hormone thought to cause prostrate cells to multiply, leading to an enlarged prostate. Saw
Palmetto is chiefly used as a diuretic and to tone the bladder by supporting normal
urinary flow. Regular use of saw palmetto supports normal urinary elimination, especially
during the night.
Saw palmetto inhibits androgen and estrogen receptor activity and may be beneficial for
both sexes in balancing the hormones. Because of it hormonal effects it can aid the
thyroid in and normalizing activity of several glands and organs.
During the last century, according to folk medicine, women have used the herb to stimulate
breast enlargement, lactation as well as support of ovarian uterine health. Native
Americans used it for reduced or absent sex drive, impotence and frigidity. Because of its
potential hormonal effects, pregnant women should not use it.
The berries have been recommended as a general tonic to
increase strength. Preliminary evidence exists to also suggest saw palmetto
may also support the thyroid. Saw palmetto is a good expectorant for
use in supporting normal upper respiratory tract health
Saw Palmetto has also been used to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, nourish the
nervous system and increase the assimilation of nutrients to the body.