Medically known as Serenoa repens, Saw Palmetto is a palm like plant that is mainly found in the coastal areas of southeastern America. It is found in the form of yellow flowers and black berries. It is the berries that have been used since 1900s to cure urinary tract infections and increase the sperm count in men. There are many benefits of Saw Palmetto, the most important among them being its use in treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
What is BPH?
BPH is a condition which is mainly found in older men due to the increase in the size of prostate gland. The prostate is located below the bladder and its enlargement causes urinary problems. The prostate enlarges with age and in old age impinges on the outflow of urine from the bladder.
The analysis published in the Journal of American Medical Association revealed that Saw Palmetto is effective in the treatment of BPH. While researchers aren't too sure about how exactly Saw Palmetto helps in treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, the common belief is that Saw Palmetto is an effective inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase activity in prostate gland. Saw Palmetto helps relieve urinary symptoms and reduces episodes of night-time urination.
Researches determine the dosage of any prescription and non-prescription medications through special studies, known as dose-range studies. These herbal studies are rarely carried out in case of herbal supplements and therefore the exact dosage is not clearly ascertained. Normally, the dosage that is recommended is 160 mg per dose twice daily or 320 mg once a day. Avoiding self-medication is very important and whatever the dose of saw palmetto, it should be strictly under the guidance of your doctor.
There are many people who have reported of serious side-effects of Saw Palmetto. Some of the most common side-effects are:
- Some women who suffer from PMS have complained of sluggishness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and insomnia.
- It may also cause weight gain in women along with decrease in their sex drive.
- Some people may also experience rashes, itches and difficulty in breathing.
- Although, it is thought to be extremely beneficial for prostate health, there are reports that some people experienced inflammation of pancreas and unusual bruising and bleeding.
- Saw Palmetto extract, beta-sitosterol can increase the chances of heart diseases in men.
These were some of the facts about the Saw Palmetto. Well, Saw Palmetto has been used by humans for more than over 150 years. The benefits of Saw Palmetto for prostate health were not known earlier and it was mainly used to treat people suffering from nervous and anxiety related disorders. Though, it has certain side-effects, it can be effectively used for treating various ailments related to prostate health. So, we would advise you to avoid self-medication and consult your doctor who can possibly recommend whether taking Saw Palmetto can be beneficial for you or if it can cause certain complications.