Some of the most impressive and important health benefits of saw palmetto include its ability to stimulate sexual activity, reduce impotence, protect against prostate cancer, improve the health of the kidneys, boost muscle mass, increase nutrient uptake efficiency, treat urinary tract conditions, strengthen hair growth, and even improve the immune system.
Saw palmetto is a fan palm that is native to North America, primarily in the southeast region near the eastern and Gulf coasts. The scientific name of this unusual plant is Serenoa repens, and its unique characteristics make it the sole species found within the Serenoa genus. It is an extremely hardy and long-lived plant, with some saw palmetto plants living for over 700 years. The maximum height of this palm is only 10 feet, and they tend to grow in large bunches or clumps, typically among the roots of other trees. The petiole of the plant is covered in sharp teeth or spines, which can break the skin, giving the plant its common name. The fruit, however, is the most valuable part of this plant, as it is a food source for both humans and animals. The traditional uses of this drupe fruit, which is reddish-brown or black, vary greatly, as the unique composition of its organic compounds make it effective for treating a number of diverse health conditions.
The fruit can be eaten in its natural berry form, but saw palmetto extract, which comes from the fruit, can also be consumed in capsule, tincture, or tablet forms. There is a high concentration of sterols and fatty acids in saw palmetto extract, which is where most of its health benefits come from. The powerful compounds in saw palmetto can complicate the chemical pathways of other medications, so be sure to confer with a medical professional before beginning treatment with herbal supplements of this unusual plant. Now, let’s take a closer look at the many health benefits of saw palmetto.