Native Americans have used Saw Palmetto to treat genital, urinary tract and reproductive system disorders. It has an aphrodisiac effect by enhancing sexual performance. Its main effect are on the digestive system to stimulate appetite and provide excellent nutrition, on the reproductive system to increase the size of secreting ability of the mammary glands, decrease ovarian and uterine irritability, relieve dysfunction and relieve various disease of the reproductive apparatus, including symptoms of inflammation, blockage and rapture on the prostate to remedy enlargement and cystitis.
The volatile oils extracted from the berries of saw palmetto plant were widely used during the 19th and early 20th centuries in the treatment of cystitis, digestive disorders and as an aphrodisiac.
Even some textbook of pharmacology, published in 1926, rated the oils of saw palmetto plant as being of very doubtful value”
However, interest in saw palmetto has revived in recent years particularly in Europe. The principal current use of the extract is I the symptomatic treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) .Constituents of the berries have been found to have and anti andiogenic properties and it is this action that is believed may alleviate the urinary symptoms of BPH .The conventional prescription drug.
Finasteride Likewise relieves the symptoms of BPH through an anti androgenic mechanism. German Health authorities have approved such use for this herb but require that the commercial preparation contain the specific fat soluble constituents.
Independent clinical trials conducted with extracts of saw palmetto have shown extracts to be more effective than placebo and just as effective as alpha-adrenergic receptor blockers or finesteride at relieving the symptoms of BPH,which at the same time less likely to cause adverse effect than finasteride. There are no known drug interactions.