Saturday, October 4, 2008

SAW PALMETTO, Serenoa Repens (Medicinal Herbs)

Serenoa repens, the saw palmetto, is the sole species currently classified in the genus Serenoa. It has been known by a number of synonyms, including Sabal serrulatum, under which name it still often appears in alternative medicine. It is a small palm, normally reaching a height of around 2-4 m. Its trunk is sprawling, and it grows in clumps or dense thickets in sandy coastal lands or as undergrowth in pine woods or hardwood hammocks. Erect stems or trunks are rarely produced but are found in some populations. It is endemic to the southeastern United States, most commonly along the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains, but also as far inland as southern Arkansas. It is extremely slow growing, and long lived, with some plants, especially in Florida, possibly being as old as 500-700 years.

Saw palmetto is a fan palm (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae), with the leaves that have a bare petiole terminating in a rounded fan of about 20 leaflets. The petiole is armed with fine, sharp teeth or spines that give the species its common name.

The leaves are light green inland, and silvery-white in coastal regions. The leaves are 1-2 m in length, the leaflets 50-100 cm long. They are similar to the leaves of the palmettos of genus Sabal. The flowers are yellowish-white, about 5 mm across, produced in dense compound panicles up to 60 cm long. The fruit is a large reddish-black drupe and is an important food source for wildlife and historically for humans.

The plant is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Batrachedra decoctor (which feeds exclusively on the plant).

The genus name honors American botanist Sereno Watson.

Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens L.) is an herbal drug used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). There has been a report that a preparation containing this herb has caused cholestatic hepatitis in one person and some indications exist that it may have the potential to produce liver toxicity.

What It Is Used For

* Saw palmetto is used mainly for urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate gland (also called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH).
* Saw palmetto is also used for other conditions, including chronic pelvic pain, bladder disorders, decreased sex drive, hair loss, and hormone imbalances.
* Saw palmetto berry has been used for urination difficulties due to prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH).

Side Effects

* Unlikely but report to your doctor promptly: headache, stomach pain or discomfort. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
* Some men using saw palmetto have reported side effects such as tender breasts and a decline in sexual desire.
* Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.


If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor before using this product: illnesses affected by male hormones (e.g., prostate cancer). Liquid preparations of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safe use of this product. Saw palmetto is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this product. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this product is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


sarah November 30, 2008 at 6:45 PM  

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


wholesaleherbs May 17, 2011 at 12:43 AM  

Saw Palmetto - Saw Palmetto boosts the immune and endocrine systems and combats male and female infertility. Herbs-Wholesale carries the broadest range of Saw palmetto from all National Brands on Bulk Discount.

  © Template by 2008

Back to TOP