Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a hearty palm plant with sharp fan-like leaves that is native to the southern United States. Also known as the dwarf palm, it is the most prevalent species of palm in the United States – especially in Florida, where over 23 million kg are harvested each year. Saw palmetto’s purple-colored berries have been used for centuries in Native American wellness and dietary practices, most notably by the Seminole tribe. The fruit supplies an abundance of health-enhancing compounds including nine different fatty acids along with bioflavonoids and phytosterols.
Although its traditional and folk-wellness uses include applications for cough and libido, today saw palmetto is most famous for supporting prostate health. With over 50% of all men developing some sort of prostate issue by the age of 60, it has become one of the most popular herbal supplements on the market. Research suggests that the berry’s diverse natural compounds seem to influence certain prostate enzymes (namely, the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme) while modulating inflammation within the prostate gland. These biological activities may help to maintain normal prostate health while promoting urinary ease and comfort.
Research suggests that, particularly in older men, the berry may also help to maintain sexual health – which is closely interconnected with prostate health. Additionally, saw palmetto benefits urinary tract wellness, another quality essential to overall healthy aging and quality of life (not to mention quality of sleep).
Saw Palmetto Supplements:
Saw palmetto supplement products are sourced from the whole fruit of the palm and are available in capsule, softgel or liquid form. Some supplements may supply additional prostate-supportive compounds and minerals from natural sources, such as pumpkin seed, pygeum, uva ursi, zinc and lycopene.
Saw Palmetto Directions for Use:
Contact your health care provider before taking saw palmetto supplements or beginning any regular supplementation. There is no established saw palmetto dosage, but serving sizes often range between 160 and 600 mg.