Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a small palm-like tree native to Florida and the southeastern United States. The ripe berries are rich in fatty acids, sterols, and other active compounds and have been used for centuries in traditional herbal medicine. It must be harvested within a specific time during the Autumn to get the optimal level of active constituents.
Saw palmetto berries are particularly well-known for their use in managing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous prostate gland enlargement that sometimes occurs in older men. Scientists believe it works by inhibiting the activity of 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme involved in converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone otherwise contributes to the growth of the prostate, so inhibiting it may help reduce urinary symptoms associated with BPH, like frequent urination and difficulty urinating.
The free fatty acids in Saw Palmetto can inhibit the activity of 5-alpha-reductase, while phytosterol (beta-sitosterol) reduces inflammation. DHT also plays an integral role in androgenic alopecia, commonly known as male-pattern hair loss.
Some of Saw Palmetto’s potential health benefits and traditional uses include:
- Maintaining healthy testosterone levels
- Supporting prostate health
- Reducing frequent urination in men
- Reducing androgen-driven hair loss
- Improving symptoms of Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
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