Natural healing is preferred over medications when it works. Little or no side effects. Does saw palmetto help with prostate health? Find out here…
Heal Your Prostate Disorders Naturally with Saw Palmetto
For a healthy prostate, many men have been enjoying the benefits of Saw Palmetto. It is said to be helpful in treating many prostate disorders, including prostate enlargement and the discomforts of frequent urination.
As an overall tonic for good health, Saw Palmetto is helpful for those who are convalescing or who suffer from wasting diseases, such as HIV/AIDS. It is an expectorant and an old-time remedy for bronchitis and asthma. Many herbalists consider Saw Palmetto to be an aphrodisiac in both men and women.
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is the most commonly used herb in USA and Europe by men to maintain prostate health. Research has shown that standardized Saw Palmetto extract helps reduce symptoms related to prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) such as the frequency and urgency of urination. It may be as effective as proscar yet has fewer side effects.
Saw Palmetto is a low-growing palm tree native to the West Indies and the southern Atlantic coast of the United States. The plant grows from six to ten feet with a high crown of leaves forming a circular fan-shaped outline, and the berries are used for medicinal purposes. Its botanical designation, Serenoa, is named after the nineteenth-century botanist, Serano Watson.
American Indians used Saw Palmetto as a treatment for genitourinary tract disturbances, a tonic to support the body nutritionally and as a love potion. Components in Saw Palmetto include essential oils, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, sterols (including beta-sitosterol and glucoside), tannins, carotenes, polysaccharides and sugars. The lipid soluble compounds are thought to be its major pharmacological components.
Benign Prostate Enlargement is also called Benign Prostate Hyperplasia and is caused by the accumulation of testosterone in the prostate where it is converted into a compound (DHT) that stimulates cells to multiply excessively, thus causing the prostate to enlarge. Saw Palmetto appears to inhibit the intraprostatic conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Although it is a condition that does not decrease sexual function, it does cause swelling, pain and excessive urination in men.
In Germany, Saw Palmetto is sold as an over-the-counter treatment for benign prostate enlargement, and modern researchers are now rethinking about Saw Palmetto’s age-old treatment for prostate disorders. Many studies, although inconclusive, are shedding new light on the subject of Saw Palmetto’s efficacy as a viable treatment.
Saw Palmetto has been used to treat impotence and other diseases of the prostate gland. It is administered to men to increase the function of the testicles and relieve irritation in mucous membranes, particularly in the urinary tract and prostate.
Administered to women, Saw Palmetto is said to support mammary gland health. It may also help women with polycystic ovarian disease, cystitis and help to decrease androgen (a hormone that stimulates male characteristics in women).
Saw Palmetto is a diuretic and a urinary antiseptic.
As a good expectorant, Saw Palmetto clears the chest of congestion. It has been useful in treating bronchial complaints (coughs due to colds, asthma, and bronchitis), and it is especially beneficial when there is an excessive discharge of mucus from the sinuses and nose.
Saw Palmetto is an overall tonic that builds strength during convalescence from an illness and has been helpful for those who suffer from wasting diseases, such as HIV/AIDS. Long ago, an American medicinal botanist, John Lloyd, noted that animals fed Saw Palmetto berries grew sleek and fat. In human diets, Saw Palmetto is said to stimulate the appetite and have a beneficial effect on body weight.
Saw Palmetto is said to regulate hormones and is considered to be beneficial to the reproductive organs of both sexes. It is also considered an aphrodisiac.
Saw Palmetto is recommended as a tonic promoting good general health. As a mild sedative and tranquilizer, it is said to improve the disposition.
Saw palmetto for enlarged prostate
An enlarged prostate also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), has been treated in various ways with one of them being the use of the dietary supplement saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is one of the most commonly used supplements by men with prostate cancer and BPH. In 2011, over $18 million of saw palmetto was sold in the United States, ranking it third among herbal dietary supplements.
Saw palmetto is a palm-like plant that grows like a tree or shrub in warm climates and can reach heights of up to 10 feet with clusters of leaves spreading out to 2 feet or more. Once a staple food of Native Americans living along coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, saw palmetto has been used as early as the 1900s by men to treat urinary tract issues and to increase sperm production and sex drive.
Whether saw palmetto is truly an effective use for treating BPH or not is still up for debate. More long-term studies are needed to say for sure if this alternative supplement is a viable option for BPH.
All men with an enlarged prostate should thoroughly discuss with their doctor first before using saw palmetto to treat BPH. It is generally thought of as safe when used under the guidance of a physician and may be a suitable alternative method of treatment for BPH.
Composition of saw palmetto
Saw palmetto has white flowers that produce yellow berries that turn brownish black when ripe and then are dried for medicinal use.
The active ingredients that make up the composition of saw palmetto are fatty acids, plant sterols, and flavonoids. There is also a saw palmetto extract which is an extract of the berry that is rich in fatty acids and phytosterols.
How does saw palmetto possibly help BPH?
Saw palmetto like many herbs, contains plant-chemicals that may be effective for BPH. What is not known is how saw palmetto works to do this. Research suggests that saw palmetto has an effect on the level of testosterone in the body and may possibly reduce the amount of an enzyme that promotes the growth of prostate cells.
It also appears saw palmetto has anti-inflammatory properties having a positive influence on the prostate gland. One study has showed that combining saw palmetto with the phytochemical lycopene and the mineral selenium produces an even greater anti-inflammatory effect.
Studies using animals have shown that saw palmetto inhibits the growth of tumor cells. This may demonstrate its possible usefulness in treating prostate cancer. Studies have also shown saw palmetto’s ability to improve urinary tract symptoms related to BPH but more research is necessary to definitively confirm this.
Here are some of the possible ways studies have shown on how saw palmetto may be effective for BPH:
· May reduce urinary frequency particularly during the night
· May reduce a man having trouble starting or maintaining urination
· May reduce the loss of libido
· May shrink the size of the prostate gland
The studies showing these results were short-term lasting no more than 3 months making it more difficult to say for certain if saw palmetto actually is effective for preventing BPH complications.
In what form does saw palmetto come in?
The supplement comes in a variety of forms and can be bought as dried berries, powdered capsules, tablets, liquid tinctures, and as an extract. Make sure the product label states that the contents contain 85-95% fatty acids and sterols. Purchase saw palmetto only from reputable companies.
· Saw palmetto should not be given to children
· It may take up to 8 weeks to see any effects
· Saw palmetto is generally seen as safe but pay attention to any side effects it may produce – headache, nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness
· A man should always seek his doctor’s advice first on appropriate treatment methods before self-treating with saw palmetto
· Pregnant or nursing women should not use saw palmetto as it may have similar effects to some hormones
· It may interfere with the absorption of iron
· It may have interactions with certain medications – always inform your doctor if using saw palmetto. Medications it may interfere with are Proscar, Warfarin, Plavix, Aspirin, oral contraceptives, and hormone replacement therapy.