Everything You Need to Know About Saw Palmetto for Women

saw palmetto for women

Certain things that are designed for and mostly used by men, work so well for women too. Wouldn’t you agree? Men’s t-shirts, jackets and sometimes even slippers. Did you know that this extends to supplements or herbs that are usually prescribed for men?

Saw palmetto is one such supplement. It has been in use for quite some time for treating enlarged prostate gland or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Around 2.5 million adults in the US take this supplement for various conditions. Did you know that saw palmetto for women has many benefits and can also be used for treating many conditions in women? Interested in knowing how? Read on!

Did You Know?

The scientific name for saw palmetto is Serenoa repens.

The supplement is the extract from the fruit of the saw palmetto plant. It is a small palm-like plant that grows to a height of 7 to 10 feet. Generally found in the southeastern US, it grows as the undergrowth of pinewoods or as clumps in coastal areas.

Saw Palmetto is used by men to treat enlarged prostate caused by BPH, migraine, pelvic pain, hair loss, decreasing inflammation and much more.

Benefits of Saw Palmetto for Women

So far, all we have talked about is how men can use saw palmetto. Saw palmetto benefits for women is unknown territory. However, this supplement has many unexplored benefits for women. It can be used for treating various conditions. Here are some innovative and effective ways to use saw palmetto for women.

Saw palmetto derived its name because the edges of the leaves of the plant resemble a saw.

1. PCOS

Pcos problem from women
Image:ShutterStock

How Does It Work?

Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS causes a hormonal imbalance in women. Many women with PCOS have an excess of androgens or male hormones such as testosterone. Saw palmetto reduces the absorption of androgens in the body. Prolactin is another hormone whose increased presence causes PCOS.

It suppresses ovulation and maturing of follicles. It also leads to the creation of ovarian cysts. Saw palmetto for women can regulate the prolactin levels in the body. By controlling the androgens and prolactin, saw palmetto attacks the root causes of PCOS(1).

How To Use?

The ability of saw palmetto to regulate these hormones is due to the presence of fatty acids known as liposterols. You can take 160 to 450 mg of the extract two times a day. The extract of saw palmetto for women with PCOS should contain 45 to 95% of fatty acids. You can consult your physician to determine the dosage.

[ Read: Natural Treatment for PCOS ]

2. Increase Libido

How Does It Work?

Testosterone has always been associated with men and their libido. It is even known as the male hormone. However, it also plays a vital role in the woman’s libido. Whenever you hear about hormones affecting women’s libido, it is estrogen that is being talked about. New research shows that low testosterone levels also impact the woman’s libido negatively(2). It also reduces the production of eggs by the ovaries.

The fatty acids in saw palmetto inhibit the 5 alpha-reductase enzymes which are found in the adrenal glands of both men and women. The enzyme plays a crucial role in converting testosterone to DHT. By inhibiting the enzymes, saw palmetto inhibits the conversion and therefore raises the levels of testosterone in women. The increased testosterone levels then go on to increase libido.

How To Use?

The total testosterone level in woman’s plasma should be greater 25 ng/dL for women below 50 years and greater than 20 ng/dL for women above 50 years. If your testosterone level is lower than this, then you may benefit by consuming around 300 mg of saw palmetto extract for women twice a day.

[ Read: Multivitamin for Women ]

Saw palmetto was used in soda production in the early 1900s

3. Regulate Milk Production

Breast Milk
Image:ShutterStock

How Does It Work?

Breastmilk is the best nutrition for a newborn. However, many new mothers struggle with low supply. For women who had PCOS before pregnancy, the underlying hormonal imbalance may be the cause for low supply. In such cases, saw palmetto for women can help increase the milk supply by regulating the hormones. Saw palmetto is used as a galactagogue by many women(3).

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Some other women face the exact opposite issue. Too much milk causes breast enlargement and pain. Excess milk production is sometimes caused due to the increase in the levels of prolactin. Since saw palmetto can regulate prolactin levels, it can regulate milk production as well.

How To Use?

Around 160 to 450 mg of saw palmetto is safe for consumption. Since the aim here is to regulate the production, start from the lowest dosage of 160 mg twice a day. You can then increase the dose if needed.

Mayans used saw palmetto as a tonic to treat various ailments.

The benefits of saw palmetto for women was relatively unknown. It is only in recent years that researchers have started exploring the usage for saw palmetto for women. However, this herbal supplement is an excellent treatment for many common problems that plague women of all ages. If you suffer from any of the problems mentioned above, then you shouldn’t hesitate in trying saw palmetto.

[ Read: Weight Gain in Women ]


FAQs

1. Is saw palmetto good for women?

Saw palmetto has many benefits for women. It can regulate the androgen levels in the body and treat some of the common conditions that are caused by hormone imbalances in women. Saw palmetto is definitely a good supplement for women.

2. Can women take saw palmetto for hair loss?

Saw palmetto has been proven to be beneficial in treating hair loss in men and women alike.

3. What are the side-effects of saw palmetto?

Some of the common side-effects of saw palmetto are headache, nausea, dizziness, and constipation. However, only very few people experience these symptoms. It may interfere with hormone treatments and blood-thinning medications as well.

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