Saw palmetto side effects are minimal, especially when contrasted with the extraordinary benefits that herbal medicine practitioners ascribe to it. Saw palmetto is a dwarf palm tree that is native to the American Southeast. While the saw palmetto has been used for centuries, first by Native Americans and then early European settlers, it is only in the past several decades that Western medicine has taken a good look at the claims.
What Is Saw Palmetto?
The dwarf palm tree produces dense, dark berries, which, when ripe, are harvested and either dried or pressed. Saw palmetto herbal supplements are usually taken as tablets or as saw palmetto liquid.
What Is Saw Palmetto Taken For?
Saw palmetto is typically taken to aid in the treatment of enlarged prostates, especially benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH. The saw palmetto regulates the hormones that contribute to the condition. Medical studies indicate positive results in men who take saw palmetto for BPH, as well as other prostate and urinary tract conditions.
Saw palmetto is also taken for bronchial conditions because it is believed to help thin the mucous membranes. Although no conclusive studies have been done, believers recommend the supplement for asthma, bronchitis, cough and sore throat.
For centuries, saw palmetto is said to contribute to sexual health and wellness, aiding in impotence, libido and even easing menstrual pain in women. Today, many women seek out saw palmetto for natural breast enlargement. Because of saw palmetto's hormone-blocking abilities, the newest application for the herbal extract is as a hair loss treatment for certain types of balding conditions.
What Are The Side Effects Of Saw Palmetto?
The most common side effects of saw palmetto are digestive troubles. Stomach pains, diarrhea, vomiting and constipation are among the most frequently reported effects, although the occurrences are more likely when taking saw palmetto on an empty stomach.
Other reported side effects, while rare, include liver complications resulting in jaundice. Side effects that have not been conclusively linked to saw palmetto are chest pains, headaches, insomnia and increased blood pressure.
Drug interactions with saw palmetto should be noted. Avoid taking it with anti-coagulant or anti-platelet medication. Patients who are also undergoing any kind of hormone therapy should not take saw palmetto. Always consult your physician before taking any supplement to make sure it does not interact with other medications you may be taking.