If you have researched a bit about alopecia or baldness, you have surely had the question of What is Saw Palmetto ?. Well, in this article we will help you to know more about this.
Video What is Saw Palmetto?
We leave you the video in case you want a quick summary to know how it works.
What is it?
It is a type of palm tree.
The extracts have been used for the alternative treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy.
How does Saw Palmetto work?
Is it useful to treat baldness?
Theoretically delays the process of hair loss. As a complementary treatment it is useful to delay the hair loss process.
Saw Palmetto and hair loss
There are many treatments for hair loss. In recent years, hairpieces and hair extensions have gained popularity. Topical medications and oral drugs are other popular methods that people use to treat thinning hair. Surgical procedures like hair grafts also work well. But medications can have side effects, and surgery may be unfeasible for some.
Saw Palmetto is an alternative remedy used to treat hair loss. It is a plant with small berries that has been used by Native Americans as medicine and food for hundreds of years. There is evidence that this herbal remedy can treat an enlarged prostate. It has also been used to treat:
- Hair loss
- Bladder infections
- Prostate cancer
- Decreased sex drive
Research on whether saw palmetto works to treat hair loss is limited but promising. A saw palmetto berry extract can block 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. DHT is the molecule responsible for hair loss and is also involved in enlarging the prostate.
One study showed Saw Palmetto's ability to treat an enlarged prostate. Researchers hope that it can also slow or stop hair loss. In fact, the enzyme-blocking components in Saw Palmetto work similarly to the synthetic ingredients in prescription hair loss medications.
But research is limited to the effectiveness of saw palmetto in treating hair loss. Still, one study showed positive results in men treated with topical saw palmetto and 10 percent plant trichogen complex. About half of the 25 participants increased their hair count by 11.9 percent after four months of treatment.
The different shapes of Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto comes in several different shapes, including:
- Whole dried berries
- Liquid extracts
- Powder capsules
Tablets and capsules are the easiest to find and are the only forms that have been examined by researchers. Tea made from the dried berries of saw palmetto is unlikely to be effective because the active compounds are not soluble in water.
Before taking any new supplement, it is important to consult your doctor about safe dosage amounts. Experts recommend 160 milligrams, twice a day, to treat an enlarged prostate.
Side effects and interactions
Saw Palmetto is generally considered safe, but it is not recommended for children, nor for pregnant or nursing women. The rarer side effects include mild headaches and stomachaches. Stomach irritation can be avoided by taking the extract with food.
Saw Palmetto can thin the blood and can cause excessive bleeding during surgery. Always inform your doctor of all supplements you are taking before starting any new type of treatment and before surgery.
Interactions can occur between saw palmetto and some other medications. Because it has been shown to thin the blood, saw palmetto should never be taken simultaneously with other blood thinners. In particular, it should not be taken with aspirin or with prescriptions such as warfarin.
Saw Palmetto works in a similar way to the drug finasteride or dutasteride, which is used to treat hair loss and an enlarged prostate. You should not take them together, unless your doctor tells you to. Saw palmetto can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives because it interacts with hormones.
Despite limited research, Saw Palmetto has been used for years to cure many things, including hair loss. It works in a similar way to some medications for the prevention of hair loss. As with all supplements, be sure to speak with your doctor first before taking any. Also, stop taking them if you notice any serious side effects.