Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)


Saw Palmetto Overview:

Saw palmetto is a member of the palm family of plants, and is characterised by its razor sharp, serrated leaf margins. The berries of saw palmetto are a popular remedy in both modern, and traditional medical systems for benign prostatic hyperplasia, and a list of other male reproductive conditions.

+ Indications:

  • Mild-moderate BPH
  • After BPH surgery
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Inflammation of the respiratory tract
  • Inflammation of the urinary tract
  • Cystitis
  • Atrophy of sexual tissues
  • As an aphrodisiac
  • Male pattern baldness (topical)
  • Urinary tract infections

+ Contraindications:

None reported.

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Antinflammatory
  • Male tonic
  • Antiprostatic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiandrogenic
  • Antiprostatic
  • Aromatase Inhibitor
  • Spermatogenic
  • 5-Alpha-Reductase Inhibitor
  • Aphrodisiac (males)
  • Urinary Antiseptic

Main Uses:

Saw palmetto is primarily used as a male tonic throughout life. It is useful in younger men for varicocele, fertility, sperm motility and morphology, and for promoting adequate testosterone levels. In older men it is useful for BPH, prostate cancer, and low testosterone. Due to its broad activity in the male reproductive system, saw palmetto is considered a male tonic. It's useful topically and internally for treating male pattern baldness, and is used as an aphrodisiac for men with low libido.

Outside from the male reproductive system, saw palmetto is useful for urinary tract infections, and inflammation in the respiratory tract.


Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

2.0-4.5 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

15-30 mL


Part Used


Family Name



Southeastern regions of North America

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Constituents of Interest

  • The liposterolic extract
  • Fatty acids

Common Names

  • Saw palmetto
  • Palmier de l'Amerique du Nord (France)
  • Savpalme (Denmark)

Botanical Info:

As a member of the Arecaceae family of plants, saw palmetto joins some 2600 other species best known as the palms. This genus contains around 181 genera, most of which growing throughout the tropics worldwide, and are distinguished by large, compound, evergreen leaves known as fronds located at the top of an unbranched stem.

Saw palmetto specifically is characteriesed by its sharp, serrated leave edges.


Level Of Research:


Clinical Applications Of Saw Palmetto:

The confirmed 5-alpha-reductase inhibitory activity of saw palmetto is thought to be the major reason it is so useful for benign prostatic hyperplasia. It is well regarded for this condition, as well as male infertility, likely due to a different mechanism.



None noted.


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