Saw palmetto( Serenoa repens , Sabal serrulata ) is used popularly in Europe for symptoms associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement of the prostate). Although not considered standard of care in the United States, it is the most popular herbal treatment for this condition.
The effectiveness ratings for Saw palmetto are as follows:
- Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia; BPH). Saw palmetto might modestly reduce some symptoms of BPH such as going to the bathroom at night in some men. Some research also shows that saw palmetto might work as well as some prescription medications such as finasteride (Proscar) or tamsulosin (Flomax). But other research shows that taking saw palmetto might have little or no benefit for some men. Keep in mind that it can take 1-2 months of treatment with saw palmetto before symptoms improve.
- Treating prostate infections and chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Saw palmetto doesn’t seem to help prostate infections or chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
- Prostate cancer. Research studies to date have found that taking saw palmetto doesn’t seem to prevent prostate cancer.
- Baldness. Some men report that using saw palmetto with beta-sitosterol makes them grow more and better hair.
- Colds and coughs.
- Sore throat.
- Chronic bronchitis.
- Migraine headache.
- Increasing breast size.
- Reducing bleeding after prostate surgery.
- Other condition
Saw Palmetto Can Stop Hair Loss!
As you may already know some hair loss may be attributed to dihydrotestosterone or DHT. When the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which is found in the scalp, comes in contact with the hormone testosterone DHT is formed. DHT disrupts the normal operation of the hair follicles thereby causing hair loss. Theoretically if DHT is removed from the equation hair should regrow.
Some believe that Saw Palmetto prevents testosterone from converting into DHT. If true then it may have some effect upon hair loss. Unfortunately there are no scientific studies showing a significant drop in DHT levels after taking Saw Palmetto.
The bottom line is that a cursory look at how Saw Palmetto works could lead one to believe that it would be effective for hair loss or regrowth but to this point it has not been proven.