Serenoa repens

Saw Palmetto

Serenoa repens

Saw Palmetto

This member of the Palmaceae/Arecaceae plant family is native to the southeastern part of the US and West Indies and was used by tribes such as the Mikasuki Seminoles for making baskets, rope, brushes, and other useful items as well as for a food and medicine source. It has been used for at least 150 years in North America as a complete genito-urinary tonic for men as well as for some conditions in Women. Finley Ellingwood; M.D. wrote about these uses in his work called; The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy in 1919. It was also given a nod in King’s American Dispensatory written by a doctor (Harvey Wickes Felter) and a pharmacist (John Uri Lloyd) in 1898. They mention its use for various respiratory ailments as well including laryngitis.

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Traditional Health Benefits of Saw Palmetto

Immune Support, Men, Women, Urinary Tract Support

What is Saw Palmetto Used for?

Saw Palmetto has been the focus of numerous clinical studies that have pointed toward its effectiveness in supporting proper function of the prostate. This is especially relevant for men over the age of 50, to help maintain normal function of the prostate.

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Active Constituents of Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto Berries contain numerous lipids including lauric, myristic and oleic acids, tri, di and monoglycerides, and phyto-sterols including large amounts of beta-sitosterol. It also contains Flavonoids, polysaccharides and an enzyme called lipase which splits the tri-glycerides into free fatty acids during the drying process and gives the berries their characteristic sharp odor.

Parts Used


Additional Resources

1.) Iguchi, K., Okumura, N., Usui, S., Sajiki, H., Hirota, K., and Hirano, K. Myristoleic acid, a cytotoxic component in the extract from Serenoa repens, induces apoptosis and necrosis in human prostatic LNCaP cells. Prostate 2001;47(1):59-65. 2.) Tracy TS. Saw palmetto. In: Tracy TS, Kingston RL, eds. Herbal Products. Toxicology and Clinical Pharmacology, Second Edition. Totowa NJ: Humana Press Inc.; 2007.3.) Groom, S. N., Johns, T., and Oldfield, P. R. The potency of immunomodulatory herbs may be primarily dependent upon macrophage activation. J Med Food 2007;10(1):73-79. 4.) Carraro JC, et al. Prostate. 1996;29(4):231-40. Niederprum HJ, et al. Testosterone 5-reductase inhibition by fatty acids from sabal serulata fruits. Phytomedicine. 1994;1: 127-133.

Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

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