What other names is Saw Palmetto known by?
American Dwarf Palm Tree, Baies du Chou Palmiste, Baies du Palmier Scie, Cabbage Palm, Chou Palmiste, Ju-Zhong, Palma Enana Americana, Palmier de Floride, Palmier Nain, Palmier Nain Américain, Palmier Scie, Sabal, Sabal Fructus, Sabal serrulata, Saw Palmetto Berry, Serenoa repens, Serenoa serrulata.
What is Saw Palmetto?
Saw palmetto is a plant. Its fruit is used to make medicine.
Is Saw Palmetto effective?
Saw palmetto can reduce the symptoms of enlarged prostate, including frequent urination, painful urination, sudden urge to urinate, and inability to urinate. It can also decrease the need to urinate during the night, increase urine flow, and make it easier to empty the bladder completely. Saw palmetto seems to work about as well as some prescription medications, but it takes about one or two months of treatment before symptoms improve.
There isn't enough information to know if saw palmetto is effective for the other conditions people use it for, including: increasing breast size, as an aphrodisiac, to encourage hair growth, and to treat colds and coughs, sore throat
, chronic bronchitis
, migraine headache
, and cancer
. Some women use the powdered fruit vaginally to increase muscle tone.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia; BPH). There is conflicting and contradictory research about the benefits of saw palmetto for prostate symptoms. Some research has shown that saw palmetto might modestly improve symptoms such as going to the bathroom at night in some men. But higher quality and more reliable research seems to indicate that saw palmetto has little or no benefit for reducing these symptoms. Any benefit is modest at best.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Treating nonbacterial prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, increasing breast size, hair growth, colds and coughs, sore throat, asthma, chronic bronchitis, prostate cancer, and migraine headache.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).