The vaunted saw palmetto berry is primarily known to benefit men. Through the years in North America and parts of Europe, it has been used to aid masculine urination. Today, however, there are accepted uses and applications of saw palmetto for women.
What is saw palmetto?
Most herbal drinks and extracts are typically associated with greens, leaves, shoots and herbs from Asia, but the saw palmetto is actually a North American palm tree. It naturally grows in the winter-free states from South Carolina to Florida. In Florida, it specifically thrives along Sarasota to Miami, which is known as the “palmetto belt.” It loves sandy coastal lands and pine forests.
This palm tree grows as high as 6 feet only, which is why it is also called American dwarf palm tree. It is also sometimes referred to as cabbage palm or fan palm. It annually bears reddish-black fleshy berries with a seed in each. The therapeutic and medicinal values of saw palmetto come from its berries.
Aboriginal medicine-men in Florida prescribed the berries either raw or dried. Crude extracts were also produced to cure many kinds of illnesses, which include sore throat, cough, asthma, headache and urination problems. Also, two hundred years ago, and until today, saw palmetto berries are believed to increase libido.
How does it work for men?
Saw palmetto is popular in Europe and the United States as a very effective herbal cure for benign prostatic hypertrophy or simply, enlarged prostate. Anything swollen is bad news. A swollen prostate pushes the urethra and bladder, which results to a number of urination problems for men.
Saw palmetto berries have been found to contain free fatty acids, free fatty alcohols, monoglycerides, and phytosterols, which are chemical structures similar to cholesterol. One of the most common phytosterols in saw palmetto is beta sitosterol. These are difficult chemical names to remember but what’s really important is this: beta sitosterol reduces the amount of DHT (a male hormone) in the prostate tissues. Why is this good? Well, DHT is found to make the prostate swell. So, the less DHT there is, the more unlikely it is for the prostate to swell.
This has been proven in a number of studies. Thousands of users have testified to the effectiveness of saw palmetto in reducing symptoms of BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy), which include painful urination, uncontrollable urge to urinate, and inability to sleep at night due to these urges, to name a few.
How could it now work for women?
Needless to say, women do not have a prostate. But saw palmetto has other benefits, and some are specifically for women.
A common benefit for both sexes is the herb’s ability to fight hair loss and cure acne. Regardless of gender or age, hair thinning, hair loss or acne can be a problem. DHT, the same hormone that causes prostates to swell, is also responsible in making hairs fall off. As saw palmetto is now known to inhibit the formation of DHT, it therefore also prevents hair loss or hair thinning from happening.
Finally, the two benefits of saw palmetto that are specifically for women are the herb’s ability to increase breast size and promote production of breast milk. Saw palmetto was found to contain the female hormone prolactin, which can perform these two things for the herb’s female users.
Produced, manufactured and sold are capsules, tablets and teas of saw palmetto for women to consume and benefit from. They are proven safe from any major side effects, but, of course, pregnant women should not take anything without first consulting a physician.