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What is Saw Palmetto?
In its natural form, saw palmetto (Serenoa repens, Sabal serrulata and Serenoa serrulata) is a palm-like plant that produces clusters of brown-red berries. The berries have a long history as both a source of food and as a medicinal aid.
Historically, the Native American peoples of the Seminole Tribe in Florida would eat the berries for nutrients and also use them to ease symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Saw palmetto berries were also a popular supplement given to boost sperm levels and libido in men in the early 1900’s.
Today, after more than a century of using saw palmetto for various health issues, including most recently benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, researchers still aren’t fully clear on how saw palmetto does what it does. Today, saw palmetto berries are mainly used to try and help ease symptoms of the urinary tract that are associated with BPH, such as frequency of urination, incontinence, pain in the pelvis, low libido, migraine headaches, hair thinning and loss and UTIs.
Taking Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto berries can be taken in various forms as a dietary supplement. The most popular forms include tablets and capsules. Other available forms include powders, teas, liquid tinctures and whole berries.
If you are taking birth control or estrogen-based hormone replacement therapy (HRT), using blood thinners or having surgery or you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is very important to talk with your doctor before beginning to supplement with saw palmetto. This is because saw palmetto can decrease estrogen levels and slow blood clotting. As well, it is generally contraindicated during pregnancy.
Always speak with your doctor before taking any supplements.
Things to Look for in a Good Saw Palmetto Supplement
The most important aspect to look for when choosing a saw palmetto supplement is to choose an oral supplement in capsule or tablet form, as this is the only type of supplement that has been researched by scientists and found to be effective. WebMD states that saw palmetto can be used in oral form to treat certain prostate-related infections, prostate cancer and BPH, as well as migraine headaches, chronic pelvic pain, water retention, low libido and anxiety.
Top 10 Saw Palmetto Products
This list of 10 saw palmetto supplements will give you information to select the supplement that can best serve your health and wellness needs.
1. NOW Foods Saw Palmetto Extract
- NOW Foods Saw Palmetto Extract contains 320 mg of saw palmetto berry extract and 80 mg of cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil as a base. The supplement is guaranteed to have 85 to 95 percent fatty acids with the remainder being sterols.
- Certified as vegetarian and vegan, non-GMO, dairy free, egg free, low sodium, gluten free, nut free and sugar free.
2. Jarrow Formulas Saw Palmetto
- Jarrow Formulas Saw Palmetto contains 320 mg of extract and 100 mg of phyto-sterols along with pumpkin seed oil.
- Extracted using supercritical CO2 and is certified as gluten-free and free of common allergens.
3. Oregon’s Wild Harvest Saw Palmetto
- Oregon’s Wild Harvest Saw Palmetto contains 1,170 mg for two capsules (585 mg per tablet) with a fatty acid and sterols concentration of 14 percent per dosage.
- Manufacturer recommends a dosage of 2 capsules per day with food or as your doctor directs. The saw palmetto herb in this supplement is freshly milled and organic.
- It is also certified as non-GMO, gluten free, manufactured in the USA and free from dairy, soy, corn, wheat, peanuts, animal by-products and artificial colors or flavors.
4. Gaia Herbs Saw Palmetto
- Gaia Herbs Saw Palmetto contains 188 mg of saw palmetto, 160 mg of saw palmetto fatty acids and 150 mg of lecithin fatty acids. The manufacturer states that taking 2 capsules daily will provide a dosage the matches that used in clinical studies with successful outcomes.
- Manufacturer recommends a dosage of 1 or 2 capsules per day taken in between meals. The saw palmetto in this supplement is extracted via supercritical CO2.
5. Pure Encapsulations Saw Palmetto 320
- Pure Encapsulations Saw Palmetto 320 contains 320 mg of pure saw palmetto with a concentration of 85 percent fatty acids and 15 percent photo-sterols.
- Uses a supercritical CO2 extraction process to ensure purity. This supplement is certified as non-GMO and hypoallergenic.
6. Herb Pharm Saw Palmetto
- Herb Pharm Saw Palmetto contains 190 mg of pure saw palmetto berry per softgel capsule and 40 mg of pumpkin seed oil. The manufacturer recommended dosage is 1 capsule twice per day with food.
- Is harvested sustainably in its wild form and only natural extraction methods are used. As well, only mature berries are harvested for use in this supplement. This supplement is certified non-GMO.
7. Solaray Saw Palmetto Berry Extract
- Solaray Saw Palmetto Berry Extract contains 160 mg of saw palmetto berry extract that contains between 85 and 95 percent fatty acids and the rest sterols.
- Uses only wildcrafted mature berries that have been naturally processed without grinding, additives or solvents. They are certified as organic.
8. Source Naturals Saw Palmetto Extract
- Source Naturals Saw Palmetto Extract contains 160 mg of saw palmetto berry extract (85 to 95 percent fatty acids with the rest sterols).
- Certified to be hypoallergenic, gluten free and free from additives, preservatives, salt, sugar, dairy, egg, wheat, corn and soy.
9. Bluebonnet Saw Palmetto Berry Extract
- Bluebonnet Saw Palmetto Berry Extract contains 160 mg of extract at 85 to 95 percent fatty acids with the remainder sterols.
- Certified to be free of common allergens. The extraction method used is supercritical CO2.
10. Nature’s Origin Saw Palmetto Extract
- Nature’s Origin Saw Palmetto Extract contains 250 mg of extract.
- Certified as gluten-free, non-GMO and non-irradiated.