Saw palmetto is a popular herbal response to a swollen prostate, which is a common ailment to 50-year-old men or older. This is a debilitating condition that makes older men a slave of their own urine movement and prostate activities. It is a condition that is as painful and crippling as it is fatal, since it could lead to prostate cancer. Saw palmetto extracts are now widely commercialized, hopefully to ease swollen prostates and reduce them back to their normal size.
Saw palmetto is a dwarf palm that grows in southeastern states in the United States. It bears 3-cm long purple berries that are used to make extracts. Saw palmetto supplements are now popular through word-of-mouth, directly selling, magazine ads, and online marketing. In the past, it has long been part of the United States Pharmacopeia from 1906 to 1917 and from 1926 to 1950 in the National Formulary, primarily as treatment for swollen prostates. Today, it is a licensed herbal product in a number of European countries.
An enlarged prostate is more technically referred to as one suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is commonly caused by unexplained abnormal growth that typically begins in men at age 40. Normally, the prostate is just the size of a walnut, and as it swells, it contracts the urethra and bladder, and so affects urine movement.
A person with swollen prostate suffers from the following: difficulty to begin urination, weak urine flow, dribbling after urination, always needing to urinate every after 2 hours or so, an uncontrollable urge to urinate, a sensation that the bladder was not completely emptied after urination, painful urination, and walking at night to urinate, which results to lack of sleep.
Studies have found saw palmetto to provide relief to BPH patients. According to Dr. Harvey Simon, saw palmetto can cut down several symptoms of BPH by about a quarter including nighttime urination. His studies involved 3,000 men aged from 40 to 88.
Dr. Simon, an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, is the editor of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch. From his studies that were mostly conducted in Europe, he determined that saw palmetto has the ability to inhibit an enzyme from converting to a kind of testosterone that causes prostate swelling. Also according to Simon, saw palmetto is more potent when it comes to treating BPH than other herbs, such as the African plum tree and Urtica dioica.
Meanwhile, another study conducted by the Children’s Hospital in Boston declared that saw palmetto extracts may eventually treat cancer. At a meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, the research team announced that saw palmetto berries have anti-cancer properties that could inhibit the growth of the prostate cancer cells.
Finally, aside from prostate-related problems, saw palmetto extracts are good for a lot more uses. For years, herbalists and medicine-men have used crude extracts to cure cough, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma and urogenital problems. It is also said to enlarge breasts and testicles, as well as improve libido. Surprisingly, it has also helped a number of balding men to stop hair loss and grow new hairs. Amazing, many will agree. If you are concerned about any of the above problems, then, saw palmetto just might be the next thing to try for you.