If you haven’t noticed yet, one of our favorite ingredients to use in our products is saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is scientifically known as Serenoa repens, a type of palm native to southeastern United States.
Ripe fruits of saw palmetto are used to make medicine and has been considered as a natural remedy for years. This herbal remedy is believed to help manage some aspects of male reproductive health, including prostate problems.
We use saw palmetto in our haircare products and hair growth supplement to boost their formula. What are the benefits of this incredible ingredient? Find out from this article as we list down the top 5 promising benefits of saw palmetto.
1. Block DHT in the Hair Follicles
Experts have found that saw palmetto can effectively inhibit 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into a powerful male hormone called DHT or dihydrotestosterone. DHT is responsible for the development of male characteristics such as facial hair and a deeper voice.
Male hormones such as DHT are present in both men and women. The production of these hormones occurs in the testes (in males), ovaries (in females), and adrenal glands. They dictate the formation of the sex organs of babies in the womb and the secondary male characteristics during puberty.
As men get older, DHT have other effects that can have negative impact on their appearance. DHT accumulate in the hair follicles. This blocks proper blood flow that delivers nutrients to the hair roots. Because of this, the follicles starve and shrink. If not managed, hair will start to fall out and may never regrow. Thus, men experience male pattern baldness which usually begins in their 30s, and can continue until they lose all their hair in their 50s or 60s.
Saw palmetto is known to be a natural DHT-blocking ingredient. By slowing down 5-alpha reductase, saw palmetto could reduce the effects of DHT to the hair follicles.
2. Improve Prostate Health in Men
Before saw palmetto was even considered as a DHT blocker, it first became a popular treatment for benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH—a condition that causes an enlargement of the prostate gland.
The prostate is a small gland responsible for maintaining healthy sperm in men. Saw palmetto supports prostate health and can aid in preventing complications like BPH.
Extracts of saw palmetto berry are also believed to help with prostate cancer. They are said to minimize the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells.
BPH can be uncomfortable. Men that are suffering from BPH often experience difficulty in urination even when the need is urgent. They may also feel like their bladder isn’t completely empty and can cause leaking after urination. Saw palmetto is used as a treatment to improve these urinary tract symptoms associated with enlarged prostate.
3. Help Reduce Inflammation
Since the prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the passageway that carries urine out of the body, this means that enlargement of prostate can lead to narrowing of the passage and cause the following symptoms:
- Slowness of incontinence and difficulty in urinating.
- Difficulty in starting to urinate.
- Frequent urination.
- Need to get up at night to urinate
- Pain after urination
Saw palmetto naturally carries high levels of antioxidants. It has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that help decrease inflammation, prevent damaged cells, and protect against some diseases. It is one of the best natural remedies used to decrease swelling of enlarged prostate glands.
4. Balance Hormone Levels
Saw palmetto is often used by men who want to boost their testosterone level naturally. Because testosterone levels decline with age, it can affect several aspects of health and may contribute to conditions like heart problems.
Saw palmetto works by preventing 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone to DHT to preserve the amount of testosterone in the body. Regulating testosterone levels can improve sex drive or libido and help with erectile dysfunction.
Since most studies on saw palmetto focus on male health, some people say that it does nothing for females. That is a myth! Saw palmetto is believed to help with PCOS or polycrystic ovary syndrome, a condition where females have higher levels of male hormones. This causes excess body hair, facial hair, acne and irregular or heavy menstrual periods. Saw palmetto works by regulating high levels of male hormones to prevent PCOS.
5. Prevent Hair Loss in Men and Women
Hair loss is a condition that can be experienced by both men and women. It can be caused by various factors such as genetics, hormonal imbalance, severe stress or certain medications.
Saw palmetto is often used as a natural way to balance hormone levels and fight hair loss. It is a known DHT-blocking ingredient that works by preventing the activity of 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone into DHT, a hormone linked to hair loss.
DHT causes hair loss by starting to bind in the hair follicles and then blocking the way of bloodstream from reaching the hair roots. The blood is supposed to carry the nutrients that enable the hair to grow healthy. Because of DHT hampering these nutrients from coming in, the hair strands gradually become thinner and hair follicles eventually die out and never regrow.
How to Get Your Daily Dose of Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto is widely available in supplement form, making it easier to add to your daily routine. You can take supplements filled with saw palmetto berry powder and other DHT-blockers like the Shiny Leaf enHAIRgy Supplement. It comes in a small, vegetarian capsule that can be easily swallowed and digests fast in the stomach. Take it using the Wellness Tracker available on the Shiny Leaf App to help you remember when it’s time to pop the capsule.
For better results, you can take hair supplements with shampoos and conditioners that also contain saw palmetto. Try our Biotin Shampoo and Conditioner, formulated with coconut fruit extract, biotin, argan oil, and saw palmetto extract for Advanced Formula for thinning hair.