Saw palmetto: scientifically proven benefits

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

Saw palmetto is the popular name for the small, dark-colored fruit scientifically called Serenoa repens. It is a medicinal plant used for various curative purposes, such as treating sexual impotence, urinary tract problems and prostate diseases.

Although not well known, scientific studies around the world show that saw palmetto has several properties that are good for health, especially for male health.

It can be found in Brazil in the form of capsules, powder or extract in natural food stores.

In this article, you will learn about all the main benefits, learn how to consume correctly and what are the contraindications of this natural product. All supported by official information and proven by science.

Saw palmetto health benefits

Protects the prostate

The first and perhaps most important benefit of this plant concerns male health. Several studies have proven that substances found in the composition of saw palmetto benefit prostatic health by preventing swelling, diseases (such as hyperplasia, benign tumors, etc.) and even risk factors for prostate cancer. ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ).

The plant has proven action both for the prevention and treatment of this type of cancer. According to data from the National Cancer Institute (INCA), cancer in this gland is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in Brazil, second only to lung cancer. ( 5 , 6 )

The prostate is part of the male reproductive system contributing to the production and storage of semen. It is very important to keep an eye on her health, although this care is often left out because of lack of information or even prejudice. ( 7 )

Controls the urge to urinate in excess

Have you ever heard about pollakiuria? This is the medical term used to refer to the condition in which the patient suffers from the constant urge to urinate. It is a very common symptom that is usually associated with kidney problems or problems with urinary tract organs such as the prostate, bladder or urethra.

Scientific information has revealed that saw palmetto helps reduce this symptom by decreasing the flow of urine. A survey identified that patients who consumed the plant showed decreased urinary flow both during the day and during the night/sleep. ( 8 )

This benefit can even be used for adults who develop nocturnal enuresis (wetting the bed). Many people think this is a problem unique to children, but adults can develop the condition from unhealthy conditions in the urinary tract.

Prevents and treats baldness

Serenoa repens is also an effective plant in the treatment and prevention of hair loss. More specifically, studies show that the properties help in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, hair loss primarily on the upper and front of the scalp. ( 9 , 10 )

Simply put, this plant helps to prevent and combat hair “entry” over the forehead and hair loss on the top of the head.

Fights erectile dysfunction and improves sexual activity

Studies have even revealed that saw palmetto is proven to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction , a disease that makes men unable to lift their penises or keep them erect for sexual intercourse.

Tests done with men who have this condition showed that, after some periods using the plant’s properties, they achieved positive results and were able to obtain better and more constant sexual intercourse. ( 11 , 12 )

Ways to use saw palmetto

There are currently 3 ways to use saw palmetto and get its benefits. Check out:

  • Capsules : follow the directions on the package label. It is usually 1 or 2 (maximum) capsules per day, before or after one of the 3 main meals.
  • Powder : the powdered plant can be used in juices, vitamins, water or even in food. 1 teaspoon of the powder a day is enough.
  • Hair lotion : This is for the exclusive use of those who are in the treatment against baldness. Apply lotion to the scalp after washing and drying hair. Apply only in the bald area. Follow the instructions on the product label.

All three modes of consumption of the plant can be found in natural food stores, pharmacies and ordered in compounding pharmacies. The ideal is always to consult a doctor to make the correct use of this product.

Care and contraindications

A scientific review of the composition of saw palmetto shows that its consumption may have some side effects. According to the publication “the majority of adverse events are mild, infrequent and reversible and include abdominal pain, diarrhea , nausea and fatigue, headache , decreased libido and rhinitis. ( 13 )

Furthermore, the publication shows that no evidence of drug interactions with the plant was found. In other words, the analyzes so far have shown that its consumption will not inhibit or react on the action of other medications that the patient takes.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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