Have you ever heard of saw palmetto? It is a type of fan palm native to North America. It is oozing with essential nutrients which promote good health, including boosted immunity, increased nutrient intake, increased muscle mass, improved kidney health, reduced impotence, stimulated sexual activity, protection against prostate cancer, improved hair health and more. There is more to this plant than meets the eye. Keep reading this article to learn more!
What is Saw Palmetto?
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As stated earlier, saw palmetto is a type of fan palm native to North America, particular along the Eastern Gulf Coasts. Scientifically known as Serenoa repens, the distinct characteristics of the plant make it the only species in the genus Serenoa. Saw palmetto is a hardy, long-living plant. In fact, some have lived for over 700 years. Their maximum height is 10 feet, and they tend to grow in clumps or bushes along the floor of palm woods.
Tthe plants’ petiole is covered with spines or sharp teeth that can break the skin, thus giving the plant its name. You can easily distinguish saw palmetto by its black or reddish-brown color. The traditional use of the drupe fruit varies significantly due to its distinct composition of organic compounds. It is valuable as a food source for both animals and humans and has also been used to treat a lot of illnesses.
You can eat the fruit in its natural form or in extracts, or you can consume it in tablet, tincture or capsule forms. Saw palmetto extracts have a high concentration of fatty acids and sterols, which is where most of the plant’s health benefits come from. However, the powerful compounds may complicate other medications, so make sure to confer with your doctor before starting any saw palmetto-based treatments.
Uses of Saw Palmetto
In the field of alternative medicine, saw palmetto is used to treat various health conditions, like chronic pelvic pain syndrome, benign prostatic hypertrophy, asthma, sore throat, prostate cancer, migraine, coughs, and colds. Furthermore, the plants also helps boost the libido and alleviate stress.
Here are some of the most interesting health benefits of saw palmetto:
- Helps boost immunity. Saw palmetto is known to help give the immune system a boost, specifically for mild illnesses like sore throats, coughs and colds.
- Helps increase muscle mass. A lot of bodybuilders and gym goers use saw palmetto as their workout supplement.
- Helps prevent prostate cancer. Saw palmetto extract may help reduce enlarged prostates by inhibiting the dihydrotestosterone that stimulates the cellular reproduction. This lowers the chances of developing prostate cancer, eases painful urination and treats the discomfort that comes with prostate conditions.
- Helps reduce kidney conditions. Research suggests that saw palmetto possesses strong chemical components which may strengthen the urinary organs to prevent incontinence.
- Helps increase the libido. The saw palmetto helps increase libido and sex drive in both men and women.
- Helps treat impotence. Saw palmetto extract is beneficial in treating impotence. Research shows that it can boost sexual performance and increase virility.
- Aids in hair care. Because of its hormonal impact on the body, some men use saw palmetto to stimulate hair growth while aging. Studies show a negative relationship between the use of saw palmetto and the symptoms of male-pattern baldness. So, if your hair starts to thin out, take some supplements to bring it back.
Side Effects of Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto appears to be incredibly beneficial for your overall health, specifically when it comes to male reproductive and sexual health. However, it may also interact with prostate medication and blood thinners. Therefore, always make sure that you consult with your doctor before you add these supplements to your daily regimen.
The side effects of saw palmetto may include:
- Stomach ache
- Bad breath
In addition, some men who take saw palmetto also report changes in sexual desire, breast enlargement or tenderness and erectile dysfunction, among other side effects.