Saw Palmetto – Herbs For Alternative Medicine


Saw Palmetto is a small palm tree with large leaves and deep red-black berries native to North America. Saw Palmetto is widely used in Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and now the U.S. for nutritionally benefiting the prostate and urinary tract. This herb is called the “plant catheter” due to its therapeutic effect on the neck of the bladder and the prostate in men. It has been marketed as an aphrodisiac for both men and women.

Saw Palmetto contains an oil with a variety of fatty acids, including capric, caprylic, caproic, lauric, palmitic and oleic acid, and their ethyl esters. Saw Palmetto oil is also high in phytosterols (beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, cycloartenol, lupeol, lupenone and 24-methyl-cycloartenol), as well as other volatile oils, resins, and tannin.

Saw Palmetto is a tonic, and is one of the few herbal remedies that are considered to be anabolic – it strengthens and builds body tissues.

Claims and Common Uses:

  • Effective in clearing chest congestion and can be used to treat coughs, asthma, and bronchitis
  • Beneficial in treating benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
  • Acts as a diuretic and to tone the bladder by improving urinary flow, and relieving strain
  • Used to reduce prostate enlargement and inflammation
  • Acts as a urinary antiseptic
  • May enhance sexual functioning and desire
  • Used to treat infertility, painful periods and lactation problems in women
  • Used for enuresis, nocturia, and atrophy of the testes, impotence, and low libido in men.
  • Used for treating urinary tract problems and for improving body strength.
  • Stimulates appetite, improves digestion, nourishes the nervous system and increases the assimilation of nutrients to the body
  • May aid those suffering from thyroid deficiency.

Part Used: berries, seeds


  • Fresh berries and dried berries as capsules or in preparation as a tincture.
  • The tea form of saw palmetto derives little or no benefit

Side Effects and Warnings of Saw Palmetto: Saw palmetto is sold in U.S. health-food stores as a supplement, which means its manufacturers do not have to prove safety or effectiveness.

  • Any man who is experiencing pain or swelling of the prostate, or who is having difficulty with urination, or who passes any blood in the urine, should be examined by his doctor.
  • Because of its potential hormonal effects, pregnant and lactating women, and children should not use it.
  • High doses can cause diarrhea