Saw Palmetto Herb Extract - Saw Palmetto Information

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Serenoa repens (Bartram) Small. Also referred to as Sabal serrulata (Michx.) Nicholson or Sabal serrulatum Schult. Family: Palmae (Palms)

COMMON NAME(S): Saw palmetto, sabal, American dwarf palm tree, cabbage palm, fan palm, scrub palm

Saw Palmetto is a small, palm like North American plant. The Saw Palmetto extract comes from berries of small palm trees, and the extracts comprise of different fatty acids and sterols. Native Americans have used the Saw Palmetto berry to treat genital, urinary tract, and reproductive system problems. Saw Palmetto is widely researched and used in Europe, and is now gaining popularity in North America, and being used for its benefits for the urinary tract.


Native tribes of Florida relied on saw palmetto berries for food; however, Europeans often found the taste of the berries objectionable. While native medicinal use of saw palmetto is not recorded, it was introduced into Western medical practice in the 1870s and was a favorite of Eclectic medical practitioners for prostate and other urologic conditions. Saw palmetto berries were official in the US Pharmacopeia in 1906 and 1916, and in the National Formulary from 1926 to 1950. While use in the US declined after that time, saw palmetto has long been a staple phytomedicine in Europe. Recent interest has been rekindled, and saw palmetto is currently ranked in the top 10 herbal products in the US. It is primarily used for its activity in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Botany :- The saw palmetto is a low, scrubby palm that grows in the coastal plain of Florida and other southeastern states. Its fan-shaped leaves have sharp saw-toothed edges that give the plant its name. Dense clumps of saw palmetto can form an impenetrable thicket. The abundant 2 cm long berries are harvested from the wild in the fall and are dried for medicinal use. They also serve as a source of nutrition for deer, bears, and wild pigs.

Uses of Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, including reduction of urinary frequency, increase of urinary flow, and decrease of nocturia. Saw palmetto may delay the need for prostate surgery

Women also use Saw Palmetto herb to stimulate breast enlargement and also to treat uterine irritability.

Side Effects of Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is generally well tolerated, with occasional reports of adverse gastrointestinal (GI) effects; do not use in pregnancy.


Saw palmetto supplements are available as capsules, tablets, and can also be purchased in liquid form. Oral saw palmetto products should be standardized to contain 80% or more of the active ingredients, which are fatty acids. Standardization by the manufacturer assures the same amount of active ingredient is in every batch of the commercial preparation.

Many times it can require up to a month and a half of saw palmetto dosages before any noticeable effect occurs. Usual doses of a standardized saw palmetto product range from 320mg to 1800mg daily.

Products that combine saw palmetto with other herbs is quite common. However, the FDA has warned against the use of some combination products because they can cause internal bleeding. You should consult with a doctor before using any saw palmetto product.


Saw palmetto products are generally well tolerated, with occasional reports of adverse GI effects. Its antiandrogenic activity suggests that it should not be used in pregnancy.

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