The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

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Saw Palmetto

Scientific Names

Saw Palmetto

  • Serenoa serrulata L.
  • Palm family

Common Names

  • Dwarf palmetto
  • Pan palm

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Parts Usually Used

Berries
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Description of Plant(s) and
Culture

Saw palmetto is a low, shrubby plant grows to 6 feet; the trunk or rootstock remains below the ground, producing palmate, green to white-coated leaves on saw-toothed petioles. Has horizontal creeping stems above ground. Leaves fanlike, with sword-shaped leaf blades radiating from a central point. Flowers are whitish green, with 3-5 petals; May to July. The olive-like, dark-purple to black fleshy berries, 1 inch long, surrounding one large seed, grow in bunches or clusters, ripening from October to December.
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Where Found

Found growing in dense stands along the Atlantic coast in Georgia and Florida. Low pine woods, savannas, thickets. South Carolina, Georgia, Florida to Alabama, Mississippi.
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Medicinal Properties

Antiseptic, cardiac, diuretic, expectorant, sedative, tonic
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Biochemical Information

Essential oil, fatty oil, with capric, caprylic and lauric acids, fatty acids, carotene, tannin, sitosterol invert sugar, estrogenic substance.
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Uses

The berries are particularly useful for conditions associated with colds, hayfever, asthma, and bronchitis. Catarrhal problems and mucous congestion respond to a tea made from the dried berries. The tea has also been recommended as a general tonic to build strength during convalescence from illness. Used for colds, coughs, inflammations, coughs, irritated mucous membranes, tickling feeling in the throat, migraine. A suppository of the powdered fruits in cocoa butter was used as a uterine and vaginal tonic. Saw palmetto is considered by some to have aphrodisiac powers. Said to improve prostate health (combined with echinacea). Used to treat “honeymoon cystitis” in females. Although the FDA does not recognize this herb as an effective drug, in Germany it is sold over-the-counter as a treatment for benign prostate problems. Benign prostate enlargement can cause excessive urination in men, especially annoying at night.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. dried berries in 1 cup water. Take 1-2 cups a day.

Tincture: a dose is from 30-60 drops.

Extract: mix 30 to 60 drops in liquid per day.
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How Sold

Fruit extracts, capsules, tablets, tincture.
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Warning

Any man experiencing pain or swelling of the prostate, or has difficulty urinating, or passes any blood in the urine, should be examined by a medical physician ASAP.
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Resource Links

LiveStrong.com: About Saw Palmetto for Women

Medicinal Herb Info Blog: Organically Grown Saw Palmetto

University of Maryland Medical Center: Saw Palmetto

American Cancer Society: Saw Palmetto

MedLinePlus: Saw Palmetto

American Academy of Family Physicians: Saw Palmetto

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Saw Palmetto

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Saw Palmetto

Drugs.com: Saw Palmetto

PubMed.gov: [Associating Serenoa repens, Urtica dioica and Pinus pinaster. Safety and efficacy in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms. Prospective study on 320 patients]

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Bibliography

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! A Useful Guide to Herbal Health Care, HCBL (Health Center for Better Living).,1414 Rosemary Lane, Naples, FL 34103., Special Sale Catalog, 1996

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