Saw Palmetto

Latin Name
Serenoa repens
Other Common Names
Herbal Actions (Column)
Cover Image

What is Saw Palmetto?

Saw palmetto is a member of the palm family of plants found predominantly in the Southeastern pockets of the United States and Mexico.
The sharp, saw-like teeth on the edges of the palm fronds are what lead to the common name for this herb.
The saw palmetto berries are considered to have male tonic effects. Fatty compounds in the berries have the ability to inhibit the activity of 5-alpha-reductase — which converts free testosterone to the much more potent 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone.
This converted version of testosterone is thought to be one of the main contributing factors for common elderly male conditions like male pattern baldness, erectile dysfunction, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Men around the world use saw palmetto supplements as a preventative measure for these common male-specific medical conditions.

Common Names of Saw Palmetto

  • Palmier de l’Amerique du Nord (France)
  • Savpalme (Denmark)
  • Saw Palmetto

Herbal Actions of Saw Palmetto

  • 5-Alpha-Reductase Inhibitor
  • Antiandrogenic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiprostatic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Aphrodisiac (males)
  • Aromatase Inhibitor
  • Male tonic
  • Urinary Antiseptic

Safety & Contraindications

Saw palmetto is a very safe herb, even with long-term use. Visit a doctor if you’re experiencing prostate issues before taking saw palmetto to make sure it’s BPH instead of prostate cancer. This herb may mask the effects of prostate cancer.