Saw Palmetto Side Effects
Are there Saw Palmetto side effects? First I want people to understand something. Yes, Saw Palmetto is a plant that grows naturally in the wilds of the south eastern United States. The berries are picked and processed as an extract to be sold straight to consumers or mixed with other products to create many various medicinal ‘green’ products based on the Saw Palmetto extract. So are there Saw Palmetto side effects?
But even if you are grabbing the berries yourself and crushing them in your own hands and gulping the juices, it doesn’t mean there can’t be repercussions. My point is, just because it is a natural extract does not make it safe! A lot of people self medicating or looking to natural products only have an idea that because something is all natural it is safe. Remember, Hemlock is all natural as well.
Thankfully the actual side effects of Serenoa Repens are few. But a few do exist and you should be aware of them. Obviously, if you begin to show any sign of side effects while taking Saw Palmetto, immediately see a doctor! Or get to an emergency room at a hospital. There is always the chance your body is allergic to the extract.
“Few allergic symptoms have been reported with these palmetto beeries and their extract. A study of people taking the combination product PC-SPES® (no longer commercially available), which includes saw palmetto and seven other herbs, reports that three out of 70 people developed allergic reactions. In one case, the reaction included throat swelling and difficulty breathing.”
There is however documented scientific literature on the side effects of taking Saw Palmetto. The most common occurrences involve the intestines and stomach. Side effects include nausea, stomach pain, constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, or bad breath. An upset stomach caused by taking Saw Palmetto may be reduced through taking the herb with food.
Specific Saw Palmetto Side Effects in Men
Numerous human trials show saw palmetto is most effective when used to help with the decrease in problems of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) specifically. Scientists believe that Serenoa’s effectiveness in this condition is due to the plant’s extract having effects on the body’s response to the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Some have have reported difficulty with erections, impotence, tenderness of the breast, testicular discomfort and changes in their overall sex drive.
General Saw Palmetto Side Effects:
- weakness or fainting;
- black, bloody, or tarry stools;
- coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
- pain or swelling in your breasts or testicles;
- chest pain;
- fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
- easy bruising or bleeding; or
- nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious Saw Palmetto side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
- diarrhea or constipation;
- bad breath;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- muscle pain;
- depressed mood; or
- increased or decreased interest in sex;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other health care provider about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Looking Beyond Saw Palmetto Side Effects
It is a fact that like most alternative medicines, the basis of its effectiveness are based on some form of medical studies that are not that well accepted in the formal & conventional medical practice but this does not in any way lower the effectiveness of a truly valuable herb in treating any form of medical illness.
While there is no specific clinical trials that can 100% prove Saw Palmetto’s effectiveness on curing certain diseases, one should also note that no one has proved its ineffectiveness either. The use of such herbs and, in this case Saw Palmetto, would fall entirely on your beliefs in using alternative medicines. And although there may be some Saw Palmetto side effects, the evidence seems to suggest that they are few and far between. In the end, after you have also referred this to your doctor, you will have to decide for yourself what Saw Palmetto side effects there are ad if taking Saw Palmetto is worth it.