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The Big 3 Natural Treatments: #1 Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto aka “Serenoa Repens”
Saw Palmetto comes from the green, fan-like plant of the North American region. It primarily grows along the Atlantic coast in Georgia and Florida area. In the Florida peninsula, where it is simply called the “Palmetto”, some of the thick, rugged trunks have been living over 500 years! The berries of the Saw Palmetto contain fatty acids and many nutrients. These berries are where we receive the Saw Palmetto Extract
Lush, green, “saw-toothed” leaves fan out from thorny stems. The saw palmetto plant has white flowers, which produce yellow berries. The berries turn bluish- black when ripe, and are dried for medicinal use.
￼￼• Saw palmetto berries were a staple food and medicine for the Native Americans of the southeastern United States. In the early 1900s, men used the berries to treat urinary tract problems, and even to increase sperm production and boost libido.
• Most common benefit people are aware due to saw palmetto is prostate health. Saw Palmetto is one of the most reliable prostate treatments because it is by far one of the “most studied of herbal treatment substances” and “has the most evidence to support its use”.
• Research has shown that the Saw Palmetto has the same effects as finasteride (Propecia) in treating patients with benign prostate enlargement. In fact, the herb is very famous and common in Germany and is available as an over-the-counter medication. There are many research and studies in Germany that confirm the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto in treating patients with prostatic disease. Studies have shown that saw palmetto is an effective anti-androgen (prevent the binding of testosterone and DHT). It acts in a similar way that propecia does.
• Firstly saw palmetto lowers levels of DHT in the body by Blocking the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase.
• Secondly, Saw Palmetto blocks receptor sites on cell membranes required for cells to absorb DHT.
• Although no studies have been carried out on saw palmetto (by itself) in its relation to “hair growth”. Studies have been performed on the use of Saw palmetto in the treatment of benign prostatic disease which is similar to Andro-genetic Alopecia also depends on the production of dihydrotestosterone(DHT).
• All of the studies that have been performed to date show that Saw palmetto is an effective anti- androgen and has shown conclusively to be effective in the treatment of benign prostate disease.
• More and more people around the world are starting to use Saw palmetto in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasma and in the treatment of Andro-genetic alopecia (Male Pattern Baldness).
• One may assume from this that since Saw palmetto is an effective anti-androgen and is used in the treatment of prostatic disease then it may also be effective in the treatment of Andro-genetic alopecia.
• Some studies have shown that saw palmetto may have the same effect or even better then the drug finasteride (Propecia) in treating hair loss and prostate enlargement diseases. It has been suggested that both hair loss and prostate disease are related to the hormone DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) which is formed when the enzyme 5-alpha reductase interacts with the male hormone testosterone.
• In a study done by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2002;8:143–52) of 19 men between the ages of 23 and 64 years with mild to moderate hair loss were given either a placebo or a supplement containing 400 mg of a standardized extract of saw palmetto and 100 mg of beta-sitosterol per day. After about five months, hair growth in 60% of the men taking the herbal combination had improved compared with their initial evaluation.
In contrast, only 11% of those receiving the placebo improved. Although the number of men in the study was small and the results were not statistically significant (which means the improvement may have occurred by chance alone), the findings are encouraging for millions of men (and possibly women) with male pattern hair loss and offers a relatively safe alternative for those who want to take a natural approach to treat this condition.
Saw palmetto is SAFE for most people. Side effects are usually mild. Some people have reported dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.
There is some concern that saw palmetto might cause liver or pancreas problems in some people. There have been two reports of liver damage and one report of pancreas damage in people who took saw palmetto. But there is not enough information to know if saw palmetto was the actual cause of these side effects.