March 4, 2013
Certainly, there are numerous therapeutic benefits of saw palmetto. Its first benefit is to prevent hair loss. One of the predominant causes of hair loss is overproduction of dihydrotestosterone or DHT. Greater than 98% of DHT is formed at the hair root. Hair loss is prevented if the extracted oil is applied and massaged into the scalp.
Women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS have abnormally higher levels of testosterone when compared to the normal levels. The berries of saw palmetto can help in the treatment of PCOS. According to reports, it has anti-estrogenic effect and counteracts high levels of estrogen. Another benefit of saw palmetto is that it helps to alleviate hirsutism. In this condition, there is excessive growth of hair on the face and other parts of the body. This is a common symptom associated with PCOS.
Moreover, saw palmetto can help in the treatment of acne. It is known to regulate hormone production. Thus, it is one of the remedies for acne which is caused by hormonal imbalance. But studies have to be conducted in order to ensure this benefit.
One of the popular properties of saw palmetto is that it is diuretic in nature. It also contains anti-androgen properties. These help reduce water retention while controlling the blood pressure at the same time. With its diuretic effect, it has been used as a natural remedy for the treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure.
Aside from the inhibiting effect of DHT, the berries are capable of stimulating the production of female hormone called prolactin. This is known to promote the enlargement of the breast. Since prolactin is responsible for milk production, it is used by lactating women.
Even if there are numerous benefits of saw palmetto, there are also several side effects. Gastrointestinal problem is the most common side effect. But this side effect can be reduced if it is taken together with food. In women, it can increase the risk of bleeding. It may also have an effect on the sex hormones. A chemical found in saw palmetto has the same chemical structure to cholesterol. High levels of this chemical in the blood will result to increase severity of heart disease particularly on people who have previously suffered from heart attacks. Hence, saw palmetto should only be used after consulting a healthcare professional. If you notice any other side effects after its consumption, you should report it to your doctor immediately.
Filed under: Food Supplements