There are many supplements in the market today and saw palmetto is one of them. Prepared from the Senora repens tree, the supplement has many uses, including improving urinary problems and prostate health.

Saw palmetto is a supplement prepared from the Senora repens tree and has multiple uses in the modern world. For instance, it had been used to treat baldness patterns and enhance hair growth besides treating enlarged prostrates that could be detrimental. In addition, it helps improve urination by reacting to a series of urinary tract complications. There are claims that it might help treat some forms of cancer due to its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory, more studies are needed to substantiate the claims. This article informs you about the existing research on saw palmetto, its potential benefits, the recommended dosages, and much more.

Understanding saw palmetto

Saw palmetto (taxonomic name; Seneroa repens) is a native tree found mostly in Cuba, Georgia, Florida, and other parts of the southeast American native regions. This dwarf tree has the term saw because the stalks that connect its leaves to the stems have sharp ‘saw-like’ parts. As the tree matures, it produces dark purplish berries with big seeds. In the modern world, saw palmetto is ground and crushed to make supplements that are readily available online as tablets or capsules. The berries are eaten raw or dried for their many purported health benefits, including sedative, diuretic, aphrodisiac, nutritional, and cough-healing properties. The fruits have lots of oil that are extracted to make great supplements. In fact, supplements from dried saw palmetto have more fat content than fresh fruits. Moreover, they are concentrated with antioxidants and vitamin A, all of which you reap from a dosage.

Potential health benefits of saw palmetto

Saw palmetto, as a supplement, is cherished online, and for every good reason, including;

i.                    Improving prostate health

At 70 years and above, many men (about 75%) suffer from prostatic hyperplasia (BHP), a condition in which the prostates, despite being non-cancerous, gradually enlarge abnormally. As they enlarge, emptying the bladder becomes an issue, and the urge and frequency of urination drastically increase. What’s worse, nighttime urination increases, often interfering with a person’s sleep. Yet, many studies have confirmed that using saw palmetto supplements may help improve this condition, although the mode of action has not been established.

ii.                 Improving urination

With prostate problems (BPH), other issues, including urination, might arise. BPH is part of LUTS, lower urinary tract syndrome, a group of urinary issues that affect the urethra, bladder, and prostrate, interfering with urination. Of course, BPH is unique to men, but LUTS also affect women. Several studies have been conducted on saw palmetto effectiveness in improving urination, and the results have been mixed. For instance, preliminary studies showed that whether the supplement was used alone or in combination with other medications, urination flow improved, and nighttime urination reduced significantly.  Another study established that administering 320g of Permixon, a saw palmetto extract, would reduce nighttime urination and improve urine flow. However, Cochrane review, which largely focuses on health issues today, found little to no LUTS improvement with saw palmetto. Due to the variations, the studies are not conclusive, necessitating further research before recommending the supplement for LUTS.

iii.               May improve pattern baldness

Men and women suffer from androgenic alopecia, also called male and female pattern baldness for men and women, respectively. Although the exact cause of the condition is not clear, scientists point fingers to dihydrotestosterone, an androgen hormone believed to be triggering hair loss. Moreover, studies claim that by preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, the hair loss might be countered.

In one study, alopecic participants took 200mg of saw palmetto supplement or a placebo. In the end, the saw palmetto group had a 60% less chance of suffering from pattern baldness than the placebo. In another study, people were given the conventional hair treatment substance finasteride, while others were given 320mg of saw palmetto. Although both reduced the risk of pattern baldness, saw palmetto only 67% as effective.

Potential side effects and concerns of saw palmetto

Although saw palmetto supplements are marketed online, and in stores, they are not controlled by big health agencies like the FDA. Therefore, its safety may not be guaranteed despite the many years of eating the fruits. Still, the edibility of the fruits indicates that the supplements should be generally safe for human beings. Of course, side effects such as diarrhea, fatigue, and lost libido might be there, but they can be reversed and are only mild.

In isolated cases, liver and brain damage have been reported with the administration of saw palmetto. Some studies also claim that using the supplement might interfere with fetal development and the male external genital expression. However, more studies are needed to confirm the claims. Still, it’s better for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to keep off the supplements. In addition, people with hormone-dependent cancers or prostate problems might decide not to use them unless advised by the doctor. Moreover, there is a possibility of drug interaction, hence the need to consult a doctor before trying the supplements.

What might be the effective dosages?

The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate saw palmetto; hence they have said nothing about appropriate dosages so far, so good. Therefore, there is no dosage recommendation for whole berries, capsules, tablets, oily extract, or steeped tea when you choose to take the saw palmetto. However, most positive results have been seen when patients took 160-320mg of saw palmetto. Since most studies have focused on men, women might need to consult healthcare providers for appropriate dosages before taking the same supplements. Still, it doesn’t harm to talk to your doctor for any possible drug interactions when taking saw palmetto supplements.


Saw palmetto is a supplement prepared from saw palmetto or Serenoa repens tree native to southeast American regions. It has been widely studied and found to harbor potential benefits, including improving urination and prostate health, and healing pattern baldness. Some studies also claim that it has anti-cancer properties, but these call for further research. Currently, there are no dosage recommendations for the supplement, and talking to your doctor before trying the supplements might be the best course of action.


We would like to thank the below contributors who have helped us to write this article:

Longhouse Media

For the past years, Tatyana has worked as a sex blogger and a relationship advisor. She has been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue. Vice, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and many others. Since 2016, Tatyana has focused on sexology, attended various training courses, participated in international conferences and congresses. “I wish people would address sexual issues in a timely manner! Forget shyness, prejudice and feel free to see a sex doctor for help or advice!” Tanya enjoys pursuing her flare for creativity through modelling, graffiti art, astronomy, and technology.

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