Saw Palmetto: Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects

Saw Palmetto: Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects

Saw palmetto is the name of a palm tree that grows in warm climates. It is also the name of an extract made from the berries of this tree. It claims to treat problems caused by low testosterone levels. It has not been proven to stabilize testosterone levels by experts, however. It is used by some men as a supplement in the treatment of prostate cancer. Results of studies for this have had mixed results, showing a slowing of the cells in this condition.

It is also used for a variety of other conditions such as hair loss, headaches, sleep problems and sore throats. Use for any of these problems has not been verified as effective with researchers knowing little about the active ingredients and how they alleviate symptoms of these ailments. Trials studying this extract have not been conclusive. They showed that it was no better than a placebo.

There are precautions needed for certain conditions and a doctor’s consultation should be made before starting a regimen. Your current medications and other factors could should be taken into account. There are various common side effects that may occur. Saw palmetto has not conclusively been shown to alleviate the conditions it is used for, but it does not negate the positive effects of some people who have shown results.

Key Points:

  • 1Saw Palmetto is a palm tree native to the southeast coast of the US. An extract, derived from the berries of the tree, is used in herbal remedies to affect testosterone levels.
  • 2Saw Palmetto is believed to aid in a number of medical conditions such as enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, sex drive, hair loss and other minor ailments.
  • 3More research is needed to determine the validity of Saw Palmetto’s medicinal benefits; however, consumers should be wary of minor side effects and speak to a doctor about proper dosage.


Remedies containing saw palmetto alone, or mixed with other herbs, are sold widely in the United States and Europe. As with all herbal remedies, it is important to understand what evidence exists to support the safety and effectiveness of saw palmetto.
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