Taking saw palmetto for hair loss? While it may seem odd that an herbal supplement can fight your baldness, saw palmetto might have good results, as long as you let your doctor know what you're taking.
Saw palmetto hair loss remedies incorporate the hormone-blocking benefits of this native North American plant and combine it with the latest research technologies in preventing or slowing down male and female pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia. While saw palmetto has not been officially approved as a hair restoration remedy, many people are claiming that shampoos made with saw palmetto are actually aiding in hair regrowth. Saw palmetto can also be taken orally to treat alopecia.
How does saw palmetto work to fight baldness?
Scientists think that some of the ingredients in the saw palmetto berry, which are extracted and made into tablets or tinctures, may block some of the enzymes that contribute to the onset of alopecia and fuel its progression. There is no scientific evidence or conclusive clinical studies to back this claim up, but some small independent studies have shown promising results. While these studies claim that there appeared to be improved hair growth, the lack of scientific evidence prevents companies who make tablets and shampoos that contain saw palmetto from making concrete claims.
The reason people believe that saw palmetto may contribute to a hair loss treatment regime is that there have been more widespread tests of saw palmetto and its effect on enlarged prostates. More significant clinical trials of the herbal extract seem to solidify its ability to block certain hormones from attaching to cells and therefore help keep the prostate from enlarging. The saw palmetto may behave the same way when it comes to blocking the hormones responsible for causing alopecia. This is because the hormones are similar; therefore, the logic applies that saw palmetto will act as an inhibitor throughout the body.
What's the catch?
The side effects of saw palmetto are generally mild, but they include nausea, diarrhea, headaches and, in rare cases, liver disorders and chest pains. Dosages of saw palmetto for hair loss treatments are often given as 1500 mg for tablet form, while just over 300 mg is required for saw palmetto liquid. The herbal extract has not been tested on pregnant women, either topically or orally. Given the side effects and the fact that saw palmetto is not regulated in the same way as a drug, you should consult your doctor before taking saw palmetto.