The saw palmetto herbal treatment is widely accepted in Europe and the United States as an effective treatment against the dreaded benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Men in their 40s and 50s are prone to suffer from this painful prostate condition that robs people of their sleep and the soothing feeling of being able to urinate without a problem. Saw palmetto prostrata treatment began several hundred years ago as a folk remedy, and today it is backed by a number of medical research studies.
Saw palmetto is a tiny fan palm growing in Florida, Texas and other southern states. It is also known as the American dwarf palm tree, cabbage palm or Serenoa repens (its scientific name). The “etto” in “palmetto” hints that it is a dwarf, while “saw” refers to the serrated leaf blades. The palm bears orange, red-brown to deep purple berries from which the medicinal extracts are derived. Saw palmetto berries are very nutritious but may not be eaten as raw food.
Each berry contains fatty acids (oleic acid, lauric acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid), plant sterols or cholesterols (beta sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol and cycloartenol), and monoglycerides. Among these nutrients, the beta sitosterol has been observed to free the prostate from BPH. It inhibits testosterones from metabolizing into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a male substance that causes the swelling of the prostate gland. Due to a swollen prostate, the urethral canal gets pushed back and obstructed, which makes urination a painful activity. The other irritating symptoms of BPH are dribbling, frequent urination, urinary tract infection, irresistible urge to urinate at nights, bladder stones, difficulty in starting or stopping urination, and ultimately prostate cancer.
Millions of elderly men suffer from BPH. Medical professionals believe that more than 50% of the entire male population are prone to this bladder problem. The key to curing BPH is to find a substance that can stop the formation of DHT, and that is exactly what saw palmetto can do.
Studies conducted in the UK observed that beta sitosterol can effectively inhibit the conversion of testosterone into DHT by disrupting the activities of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. Although the tests used animal subjects, they prove that this herbal alternative works as effectively as the chemically manufactured Proscar drug.
In addition to inhibiting the formation of DHT, other studies proved that saw palmetto can reduce the existing amount of DHT in the prostate, help prostate tissues perform anti-estrogenic activities, promote a healthier prostate, and reduce IGF (insulin-like growth factor) activities that could enlarge the prostate.
Meanwhile, saw palmetto can also treat the common cold, cough, asthma, bronchitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, acne, menstrual cramps, and headache. It functions as a diuretic to improve urine flow, sedative to promote relaxation, aphrodisiac to enhance sexual drive, breast enhancer, and hair loss treatment.
Finally, saw palmetto prostrata treatment has no known side effects, which is true for most alternative medicines and herbal treatments. A minor side effect is digestive discomfort after taking the extract on an empty stomach. Some have tried freeze-drying and extracting real saw palmetto berries but that could be too tedious. Saw palmetto products and supplements are now widely sold in the US and around Europe.