Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)

What is Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)

Saw palmetto is derived from the partially dried, ripe fruit of Serenoa repens, a palm plant of the family Arecaceae that grows from South Carolina to Florida.

The medicinal use of this herb has been documented since the 1800’s. Native Americans used the berries to treat testicular atrophy, infertility, and inflammation of the prostate.

It is reported that native American women used the herb for painful menstruation, problems with lactation, and to induce breast enlargement. 

Indications

  • benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Side Effects

  • asthenia
  • cholestasis
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • dyspepsia
  • flatulence
  • headache
  • hepatitis
  • hypotension
  • impotence (erectile dysfunction)
  • libido decrease
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary

Contraindications

  • breast-feeding
  • children
  • infants
  • pregnancy
  • prostate cancer

Interactions

  • 5-Alpha reductase inhibitors
  • Androgens