Common name: Saw Palmetto
Latin name: Serenoa repens
Other names: American Dwarf Palm Tree, Cabbage Palm, Saw Palmetto Berry
Habitat: Saw Palmetto is native to North America. Now it can be found in a wide range of habitats from seaside sand dunes to moist forests and wetlands. It prefers plenty of sun and a well drained soil.
Description: Saw Palmetto is a small palm, growing up to 4 meters in height. It has a sprawling trunk, usually growing in dense thickets. Leaves protrude from horizontal stems. They are palmate and evergreen, with a bare petiole armed with sharp spines. Leaves are light green to silver-white in color, depending on the habitat. Flowers are small, yellowish-white in color, produced in dense panicles growing from leaf axils. Fruit is a fleshy and large dark-red drupe.
Parts used: Fruits, leaves.
Useful components: Fatty acids, essential oil, fixed oil, sterols, polysaccharides.
Medicinal use: Saw Palmetto has sedative, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties, and is also being a very good tonic and expectorant. Traditionally, it has been used in cases of stomach and intestinal problems, bronchitis and bladder irritations. Nowadays its most common use includes the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. It is also recommended as a potential treatment for male pattern baldness. In addition, Saw Palmetto may be beneficial in cases of kidney disorders, diarrhea, different digestive complaints and bladder infections.
Safety: Saw Palmetto could cause allergic reactions and some gastrointestinal side effects. Consult your doctor/herbalist before consumption of any herb.