The use of saw palmetto for women has been documented for a long time. The plant is a tree similar to a palm which is native to the Americas. Native Americans used the berries as a food.
Oil is extracted from the berries of the plant, which is used for medicinal purposes and the berries are often used when dried.
The herb can be taken as a juice, capsule or tablet. To see the best effects of saw palmetto it would have to be taken for several weeks to allow it to fully enter the system.
Benefits of Saw Palmetto
There are a number of benefits of the saw palmetto plant, including:
•Helping to combat hair loss. The extract is beneficial at preventing hair loss if it is massaged into the scalp and the extracts are often found in a number of hair products such as shampoos though studies are still required into the effects of saw palmetto for hair growth.
•Helping to balance hormone levels to treat conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. It can ease the symptoms caused by this condition, such as excessive hair growth.
•Its hormone balancing properties can help to combat acne by detoxifying the skin, though it is considered that this herb on its own is not enough and it would need to be combined with other herbs and a balanced diet to have a strong effect.
•It can reduce water retention and acts as a diuretic. This also makes it beneficial for regulating blood pressure.
•Saw palmetto for women can reportedly encourage the production of the prolactin hormone, which can not only support the breastfeeding function but promote breast enlargement.
•It can be used to help to detoxify the system, cleansing the body and supporting the functioning of the major organs.
•It has expectorant qualities and can help when suffering from coughs and colds and other respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis.
•Its hormone balancing properties are believed to help to strengthen the reproductive function generally and is beneficial for those suffering from menstrual problems.
•The herb has anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial for digestive tract disorders so could be soothing for stomach upsets.
Side Effects of Saw Palmetto
A rare side effect of saw palmetto is a stomach upset, though this is thought unlikely if recommended dosages are followed.
There are also some recommendations about not combining saw palmetto with other herbs as it may interact with the effects. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to beginning a course of treatment with this herb.
Some may suffer headaches and nausea though it is believed that the possibility of this can be reduced by consuming the herb with food.
It is not suitable for taking when pregnant or breastfeeding because of the effect it has on hormones.
It can interfere with blood thinning medication and oral contraception, though anybody taking prescription medicines should consult with their doctor prior to beginning a course of treatment with saw palmetto.