Saw Palmetto is a pretty popular fruit extract that is commonly used for BPH cure. Contrary to popular belief, the Saw Palmetto is not a fruit in itself. It is an extract of the fruit Serenoa Repens. The extract is very rich in fatty acids and phytosterols and has been used for ages in traditional, eclectic and alternative medicine for a variety of ailments.
In this article we’ll take a look at the benefits offered by this natural fruit extract and also its side effect profile.
Saw Palmetto has been an active ingredient of several traditional medicines. The aboriginal Americans used this entire fruit and its extract as food and also for treatment of a variety of urinary and reproductive ailments. The extract was also very popular with the Mayans. They drank the fruit extract as an energy tonic. The Seminoles used the Saw Palmetto as an expectorant and antiseptic.
Saw Palmetto ingredients have excellent broncho-dilation and mucous properties. They prevent irritation of mucous tissues and also keep the bronchial tubes dilated. Irritative cough, chronic bacterial cough, whooping cough, laryngitis, acute catarrh, asthma, tubercular laryngitis and cough of phthisis pulmonalis are some of the pulmonary disease that this herbal extract can provide relief from.
It has a positive impact on the digestive organs and boosts up appetite, digestion and nutrient absorption in the body. The most prominent effect that the extract shows is on the prostate gland and sexual organs.
Before we take a look at the beneficial effects of the Saw Palmetto on the prostate, we must understand the complications of the prostate. Te prostate gland is a walnut sized glad that secrets a seminal fluid to nourish the semen in males. The urethra runs through the prostate and when the prostate enlarges in size, it constricts the urethra and disrupts urine flow. The urine that gets held back in the bladder leads to serious UTIs.
It would be worthwhile to mention that the testosterone hormone gets converted into dihydrotestosterone [DHT] by the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme and this DHT binds with androgen receptors to cause hyperplasia [inflammation] of the prostate. Ingredients in the Saw Palmetto extract act in two ways. They mimic the structure of DHT and block the androgen receptors, thereby preventing further inflation of the prostate. On the other hand they also inhibit the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme formation and eventually stop the conversion of testosterone into DHT [which is responsible for most prostate disorders].
There are no established side effects of this fruit extract. However in rare cases it has been seen that subjects on Saw Palmetto extract have inflated testicular organs. The exact reason for this is unknown, but some scientists believe that this extract might be responsible for enlarging the size of the organs that are below average size and reducing the size of those that are above average. This is just a belief and there are no hard facts to back up the claim.