Saw Palmetto

Serenoa serrulata


Saw palmetto is a sweet-tasting nutritive tonic, possessing sedative, diuretic and expectorant properties. Valued by First Nations healers, saw palmetto berries were used extensively by Eclectic physicians during the early 1900s. They are specific for relieving prostate gland problems, and are reputedly an aphrodisiac.

Saw palmetto is a very effective treatment for men with benign prostate enlargement (as many as 50 percent of men over fifty years old). Wise women call upon saw palmetto berries as an ally when the men in their lives have prostatitis, discharges of mucous or watery fluids, difficulty starting the flow of urination or emptying the bladder, and orchitis (associated with enlarged prostate). Saw palmetto promotes strong contractions of the bladder so it can fully expel its contents. One cup of dried berry infusion three times daily, or 20 drops of tincture of fresh or dried berries two or three times daily, is the usual dose.

Antiseptic to the urinary system, and tonic to the bladder, saw palmetto berries can help those with urinary tract infections. Adding cornsilk provides a gentle diuretic effect. If an infection of the urinary system is diagnosed, I combine saw palmetto berries with echinacea.

If the old wives are right about saw palmetto's ability as an aphrodisiac, it is probably because of this herb's ability to nourish the generative organs and the endocrine glands. Saw palmetto increases sexual energy, treats male impotence, increases fertility and lessens frigidity. If the dysfunction is due to stress or anxiety, add a little skullcap.

Phytosterol-rich saw palmetto berries bring health and vitality to ovarian, vaginal, breast and bladder tissue. In fact, this herb actually rebuilds these tissues, so is a superb ally to women whose vaginal or bladder tissue may have thinned or lost moisture in their postmenopausal years.  Saw palmetto berries also have a strong reputation for increasing breast size. 

The constituents of saw palmetto berries include a volatile oil, steroids, dextrose, resins, glucose, saponins, mucilage, pectin and a fatty acid, abundant chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, silicon, carotenes, some vitamin C and huge amounts of phosphorus and zinc. Saw palmetto is an ally for those dealing with ARC/AIDS, cancer and all wasting diseases. It stimulates the appetite, promotes assimilation of nutrients and increases both strength and weight. Saw palmetto berries remedy colds, sore throat, chronic bronchitis and asthma. They have a soothing effect on the mucous membranes of the respiratory system.

Flower Essence Saw palmetto flower essence creates a feeling of being protected during times of extreme vulnerability.

Magical Lore Saw palmetto berries have traditionally been used in spells of healing, protection, exorcism, passion and for spiritual growth. Add a few berries to a magic bag and hang it in the house for protection.

Culture Saw palmetto is a native palm growing along the east coast of North America from South Carolina down to Florida and across the southern states out to California. It’s leaves are large, accordion-like, fan-shaped and up to two feet long. It grows in thick clumps and each palm leaf is serrated like a saw blade. The brown saw palmetto berries are gathered when ripe, usually from September through January, and dried on screens. Fresh or dried berries are tinctured in alcohol. 

Return to Materia Medica