Saw Palmetto is a dwarf palm that is native to Northern America. It is in the top 10 herbs sold there as the berries of the plant have medicinal properties and a wide range of actions. These include anti-inflammatory, being a male tonic, anti-prostatic, anti-androgenic, and spasmolytic. Its first recorded use was in 1879 in Northern America for its soothing of the mucous membrane, assisting with persistent coughs and digestion, and improving sleep through mild sedation. Historically, it has also been used to treat genital and urinary tract infections in both men and women.
Due to it's anti-inflammatory and anti-androgenic properties Saw Palmetto can smooth the muscles of the prostate and prevent or decrease the growth of prostate cells that cause Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is the enlargement of the prostate, through which the prostate cells multiply. It usually occurs later in life for men and can effect the urinary system by blocking flow, causing kidney stones, frequent urination, and night urination. Saw Palmetto effects the pathways of the hormone receptors by inhibiting their actions, which contributes to enhancing prostate function and regulating growth relating to BPH. This function also reduces inflammation of the genital tract which aids bladder infections and soothes urinary tract conditions.
Saw Palmetto binds to the adrenoreceptors which up-regulates the function of the urinary tract which helps improve tone, function, and symptoms of BPH. The fatty acids that are within Saw Palmetto include an enzyme that is found in the adrenal glands that helps with testosterone conversion and overall men's health and vitality.
It is a relatively safe herb to take, however more studies are required to confirm its efficacy with treatment for BPH. To see how Saw Palmetto can be implemented into your daily routine, get in touch to speak with one of our Naturopaths who specialise in men's health.