Saw palmetto - Serenoa repens (in the Palmaceae or Palm family)
Part used: Whole ripe fruit.
Taste/smell: Aromatic, sweet, soapy taste.
Tendencies: Drying, nutritious.
Dosage: Decoction: 1-2 teaspoons per cup of water; or 1:2.5 dry strength liquid extract: 10-60 drops 1-4 times per day.
Mental picture and specific indications: Saw palmetto is indicated for wasting of sexual organs, underdeveloped breasts and lack of sexual desire.
Use: (a) Diuretic, (b) Decongestant, (c) Anti-inflammatory, (d) Antispasmodic (123), (e) Male reproductive tract tonic, (f) Alterative.
Saw palmetto supports tissue nutrition of the urinary tract and has been widely used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The mode of mechanism is uncertain but it is thought to decrease conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, which promotes growth of the prostate and is implicated in BPH. It may also interfere with binding of dihydrotestosterone receptors in the prostate. It additionally may have an antiestrogenic effect. It is indicated for atony of pelvic organs, urethritis, impotence and all wasting diseases of the male pelvic organs. It is beneficial for undeveloped mammary glands, enuresis or incontinence in children and the elderly, interstitial cystitis, chronic bladder infections and respiratory conditions like head colds, sore throats and bronchitis. This herb may be useful in women with polycystic ovaries, Stein Levanthal disease, hirsuitism, cysts on the ovaries, anovulatory cycles and menstrual irregularities. It contains butyric acid.
Contraindications: Saw palmetto is contraindicated in pregnancy.