Without regard to potential saw palmetto side effects, many people have found themselves wanting to take saw palmetto supplements.
This is highly due to the popularity of saw palmetto in treating countless health conditions in both men and women.
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a palm-like plant found in the North American region that grows abundant berries. Saw palmetto berry extract taken from these berries has been seen to be a potent healing herb, and various studies have been done to test its effectiveness.
Uses of Saw Palmetto
Based on scientific evidence
Saw palmetto has been proven to improve the symptoms caused by prostatitis, benign prostatic hypertrophy, and enlarged prostate, such as frequent urination, and incontinence. It has been generally seen to reduce prostate enlargement as well as improve the overall quality of life of those who suffer from the said conditions.
Saw palmetto has also been said to prevent the formation of dihydrotestosterone from the testosterone hormone, which is mainly responsible for the growth and replication of prostate tissues. In the same way, saw palmetto extract is suggested to reduce male pattern hair loss. Many people have also been using saw palmetto for bladder problems.
Based on Theory or Tradition
Saw palmetto berry extract has been used for a wide variety of other uses. The safety and effectiveness of saw palmetto has yet been established in these cases, but people have nevertheless used it for the following: treatment of acne vulgaris, asthma, cough, diarrhea, impotence, indigestion, menstrual pain, migraine, vaginal disorders, sore throat, and so on. Saw palmetto is also believed to reduce blood pressure, regulate hormonal imbalances, and foster breast enlargement.
Saw Palmetto Dosage
For treatment of enlarged prostate, benign prostatic hypertrophy, and prostatitis, a total daily oral dose of 320 mg is advised in one or two divided doses. Supplements should be purchased from reputable companies and should contain at least 85-95% fatty acids and sterols. Taking slightly more than this suggested amount has been seen to produce better results.
Side Effects of Taking Saw Palmetto
Intake of saw palmetto has led to noted side effects. The most common saw palmetto side effects include stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, bad breath, diarrhea, or constipation. The stomach problems can be alleviated by taking saw palmetto with food. Less common but worse side effects include stomach ulcer, liver damage, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin), but the actual role of saw palmetto in these cases remains unclear. There have also been invalidated reports of insomnia, depression, headache, muscle pain, chest pains, high blood pressure, heart problems, and breathing difficulties.
Does Saw Palmetto Cause Gain Weight?
Women who take saw palmetto for breast enlargement have reported weight gain as side effect. This, however, depends from one person to another, but saw palmetto is not directly linked to weight gain.
Does Saw Palmetto Cause Lower Sex Drive?
In theory, saw palmetto should not lower one’s sex drive but would ideally increase it. Saw palmetto affects the hormones in such a way that sex drive is improved, but the extent of this effect remains on a case-to-case basis.
Saw Palmetto Contraindications
There are saw palmetto interactions that you should watch out for. Saw palmetto should not be taken with aspirin, anticoagulants, anti-platelet drugs, and non-steroidal inflammatory drugs as they can lead to undesirable contraindications. It should not be taken together with drugs that affect hormonal imbalance and sex hormones in men, which include finasteride (Proscar and Propecia) or flutamide (Eulexin). Saw palmetto may also interfere with the effect of birth control pills and hormone therapies in women.
Saw palmetto is popular nowadays for good reasons. Though intake of it involves some mildly negative after-effects, herbal saw palmetto side effects are relatively less in severity than its drug counterparts.