Saw Palmetto: 4 Surprising Health Benefits

Saw palmetto is a dwarf palm tree abundant in Florida, Georgia, Cuba and the Bahamas. Its fruit is known to offer a number of health benefits, widely being used by native Americans for its nutritional, diuretic, sedative, aphrodisiac and cough-reducing properties.

To date, many people have also been enjoying the same positive effects of taking saw palmetto. The berries are now available on the market as a tea and in supplements. 

Saw palmetto could help people stay healthy in many ways. However, some of the benefits lack scientific backing and may pose risk to people due to wrong dosages and intake. 

To help you avoid potential risks and at the same time enjoy a healthy life with this fruit, below are some of the surprising ways saw palmetto can help your body. 

1. Maintains prostate health

Saw palmetto could help treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or the slow and abnormal enlargement of the prostate. This condition commonly affects older men, mostly those in their 70s, according to Healthline.

2. Helps reduce pattern baldness

The people experiencing hair loss due to androgenic alopecia might consider saw palmetto to help keep their hair growing. The extract from the fruit has been found helping to block an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, which causes hair loss both in men and women. 

A two-year study showed that men with male pattern baldness who received 320 mg of saw palmetto per day reported an increase in hair growth during the study. 

3. Maintains libido and fertility in men

Permixon is a another formulation of saw palmetto. Conventional drug therapy for BPH and other urinary problems are known to lead to problems with sexual function in men. A previous study showed Permixon caused smaller drops in libido and lower impotence compared to the conventional drug treatment. 

4. Prevents cancer development

Results of previous laboratory experiments showed that saw palmetto could help kill and slow the growth of certain cancer cells, such as prostate cancer. The fruit works to reduce inflammation and protect the body against the growth of cancer.

However, more studies are required to find how saw palmetto directly fights cancer. 

Despite the number of health benefits being offered by saw palmetto it is important to know that wrong dosage could have side effects. It may lead to diarrhea, headache, fatigue, decreased libido, nausea, vomiting and vertigo. 

Other serious side effects include liver damage, pancreatitis, bleeding in the brain and death. Consult a doctor before taking supplements.