Saw palmetto benefits are becoming more widely known. The Mayans used this herb as part of their daily diet.
Saw palmetto benefits include treatment for a number of conditions such as:
- Digestive problems. The herb has anti-inflammatory properties and can ease inflammation in the digestive tract.
- Coughs. Saw palmetto has anti-bacterial properties and can fight the bacteria that cause coughs to linger. It has an expectorant quality that can help the body to expel mucus from the airways. It can also be helpful for the symptoms of bronchitis and asthma.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia. The symptoms of this condition include impaired bladder function, and saw palmetto herb can help by discouraging the enlargement of the prostate. This can also reduce the pain associated with bladder problems and is believed to have a positive effect on the hormones that can aggravate the condition.
- Boosting a poor immune system. Saw palmetto can help the body fight off infection.
What is saw palmetto?
Saw palmetto comes from a palm tree found mainly in North America, and the name comes from the shape of the leaves, which have a saw-toothed edge.
It is the berries of the plant that are used in saw palmetto herbal remedies. The active ingredients of the herb include plant sterols, fatty acids, and flavonoids. The berries also provide polysaccharides, which are believed to hold the immune-boosting benefits of the plant.
It is available as a tea, capsule, tincture, and tablet. The tea is not thought to be a beneficial form of administering the herb, as the active ingredients dissolve in water.
Saw Palmetto and Hair Growth
More people are turning to supplements to combat hair loss, and it is the effect that saw palmetto has on the hormones that can help to prevent hair loss. Saw palmetto herb can reduce the effects of testosterone, which can encourage stronger hair and reduce loss.
The herb can also be found in a number of hair products, but there has been no formal study into the herb’s effects on hair growth.
Saw Palmetto for Acne
Saw palmetto benefits also include its use in fighting acne due to its effect on hormone function. Fluctuating hormone levels can lead to acne breakouts, and saw palmetto can help to regulate hormone levels.
However, it is thought that this herb is not enough on its own to be an effective treatment and should be combined with other herbs and a balanced diet to ensure that the body receives the right nutritional support.
Saw Palmetto Side Effects
Side effects from this herb are rare, but some users have reported headaches and nausea. This can be reduced by taking the herb with a meal. Others have reported that the herb has affected their sex drive.
The effect it has on hormones means that it is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women and can interfere with blood thinning medication. It may also reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Anybody on prescription medication should check with their medical practitioner to ensure that saw palmetto will not counteract their treatment.