Information and Facts on Saw Palmetto

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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 dihydrotestosterone, the 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.

Two excellent review articles have been published on the mechanism of action of saw palmetto.

The first, published in the journal "Phytomedicine" (Nieferprum, et. al.), explores the 5-a-reductase inhibiting properties of the free fatty acids in the saw palmetto berry. This activity is not only critical to saw palmetto's efficacy but may also open the door for other health benefits of saw palmetto.

The second study (Koch & Biber) examines the role that dihydrotestosterone, 5-a-reductase, estrogen, and sexual-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) play in the pathogenesis of BPH. This paper not only explores saw palmetto extract's 5-a-reductase inhibiting and antiedematous actions but also explores the efficacy of urtica (nettle) root in the BPH treatment. A translation of this article appears in the Summer 1995 issue of the Quarterly Review of Natural Medicine.

It is clear that the next step in clinical research with saw palmetto extract is a comparative study with finasteride (ProscarÔ). In the meantime, healthcare practitioners utilizing saw palmetto extract in their practices have excellent research documentation to support their choice. - Donald Brown, N. D.

One of the more positive trends, the 1990’s will be remembered for is the willingness of mainstream medicine to examine the scientific legitimacy of natural therapies versus their synthetic counterparts. With Saw Palmetto cost being nearly 25-30% less than Proscar, and proving to be more than twice as effective in half the time it takes Proscar to reveal even modest results, saw palmetto offers new hopes to millions of sufferers worldwide. With all the commotion being made about proper prostate maintenance saw palmetto will enjoy continued success to more than 50% of 45-60 year old males.

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........Symmetry herbal and nutritional products for Women, Children, and Men includes vitamins, herb supplements, skin care, weight loss, water filters, sport's nutrition, and health maintenance. Giving you and your family an alternative natural way for prevention and healing treatment of disease - also to aid in well being of mind, body, and spirit.