Many of the supplements that are currently gaining in popularity have been used for centuries by the native inhabitants of their region. Some supplements come to us from Eastern medicine, while others have been just around the corner the entire time in the West. One such, “homegrown” supplement is saw palmetto oil, which is mainly sourced from the southeastern parts of the U.S., such as Florida. The berries of this palm plant have been used to support reproductive and men’s health for years in the Seminole tribe but are just now being rediscovered. Read on to learn more about saw palmetto oil and how it may support your journey to natural health.
What Is Saw Palmetto Oil?
Saw palmetto oil comes from the fruit (berries) of the saw palmetto plant – the only part of the plant harvested for human consumption. The berries are yellow as they grow but turn a reddish-brown color when ripe and ready for harvesting. The extract from these berries is often called as saw palmetto oil, because it is a source of fatty acids and phytosterols. Although the plant isn’t available directly in oil form, if you see “saw palmetto oil” on the ingredients list for your supplement or natural health care product, you are getting the extract of the fruit itself.
Potential Benefits of Saw Palmetto Oil
The main uses for saw palmetto oil include supporting healthy aging with special attention to healthy sexual function, urination, and the prevention of hair loss. As men age, more than 50% experience an enlarged prostate also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Saw palmetto oil may have natural qualities which may temporarily help ease the discomfort and urological issues caused by BPH. However, do not self-treat for BPH with saw palmetto. Instead, consult with your healthcare provider first. Some research also suggests that saw palmetto oil supplements may also help promote healthy-looking hair.
The Science Behind Saw Palmetto Oil
Experts aren’t entirely clear on why saw palmetto oil may have a positive effect on men’s health and sexual function but they have a few theories. The main theory is that the compounds contained in saw palmetto oil may help the body’s ability to block the 5-alpha-reductase which converts testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a metabolite that can prevent nutrients from properly absorbing into hair and can cause inflammation in the reproductive and urological systems. A saw palmetto oil supplement may help protect against the effects of DHT; however, further clinical research is needed to support this theory.
How to Take Saw Palmetto Oil
Saw palmetto is available in two main forms: supplements and hair care products. Supplements are generally taken in pill or capsule form and are often combined with other nutrients for optimal absorption and benefit. The amount you take daily is dependent on your health goals and the recommendation of your healthcare provider. Tonics and hair care products, on the other hand, are generally applied directly to the affected area or as part of an overall health and beauty regimen.
Try These Saw Palmetto Products
Natural Healthy Concepts has a wide range of saw palmetto oil options available. Pygeum & Saw Palmetto from Solaray provides support for optimal prostate function with the nourishing benefits of pygeum and saw palmetto, as well as zinc and vitamin B6. ProstaShield from Vinco contains an array of specially-selected herbs and nutrients such as saw palmetto, green tea extract, and nettle leaf powder, all designed to promote good circulation and prostate health. To use saw palmetto oil in your fight against hair loss, try Biotin B Complex Thickening Conditioner by Avalon Organics. This line of hair care products is designed to nourish and restore thinning hair with a complex of oils and vitamins.
Have you used saw palmetto oil to support your journey to natural health? Tell us about your experiences or leave your questions in the comments section below.