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Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a tree that grows up to 10 feet tall with thorn-shaped leaves arranged like a fan. Its ripe fruit is used to make medicine.

Saw palmetto seems to lower the amount of pressure on the tubes that carry urine in males. Saw palmetto also might prevent testosterone from being converted to a more potent form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Reduced levels of DHT might help prevent some types of hair loss.

People commonly use saw palmetto for symptoms of an enlarged prostate called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). But it doesn't seem to improve this condition. Saw palmetto is also used to prevent complications from prostate surgery and for treating other prostate conditions, male-pattern baldness, sexual dysfunction, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

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When taken by mouth: Saw palmetto is likely safe when used for up to 3 years. Side effects are usually mild and might include dizziness, headache, nausea, and diarrhea.

When given rectally: Saw palmetto is possibly safe when used for up to 30 days. It's unknown if it is safe to use for longer periods of time.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Saw palmetto is likely unsafe when taken by mouth during pregnancy or breast-feeding. It acts like a hormone, and this could be dangerous. Don't use during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

Surgery: Saw palmetto might slow blood clotting. It might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using saw palmetto at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some birth control pills contain estrogen. Saw palmetto might decrease the effects of estrogen in the body. Taking saw palmetto along with birth control pills might decrease their effects. If you take birth control pills along with saw palmetto, use an additional form of birth control such as a condom.

Estrogens

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Saw palmetto seems to decrease estrogen levels in the body. Taking saw palmetto along with estrogen pills might decrease their effects.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Saw palmetto might slow blood clotting. Taking saw palmetto along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting: Saw palmetto might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Examples of supplements with this effect include garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and Panax ginseng.

There are no known interactions with foods.

Saw palmetto has most often been used by adults in doses of 320-960 mg by mouth daily for up to 3 years. It's also been used in lotion. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

American Dwarf Palm Tree, Baies du Chou Palmiste, Baies du Palmier Scie, Cabbage Palm, Chou Palmiste, Ju-Zhong, Palma Enana Americana, Palmier de Floride, Palmier Nain, Palmier Nain Américain, Palmier Scie, Sabal, Sabal Fructus, Sabal serrulata, Saw Palmetto Berry, Serenoa repens, Serenoa serrulata.

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