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Saw Palmetto

Medically reviewed by Last updated on June 24, 2019.

What are other common names?

  • Brahea serrulata
  • Corypha repens
  • Sabal serrulata
  • Sabal serrulatum
  • Serenoa repens
  • Serenoa repens (W. Bartram) Small
  • Serenoa serrulata
  • Serenoa serrulata (Michx) G. Nicholson
  • Chamaerops serrulata Michx
  • American Dwarf Palm Tree
  • Baies du Chou Palmiste
  • Baies du Palmier Scie
  • Cabbage Palm
  • Chou Palmiste
  • Dwarf Palmetto
  • Fan Palm
  • Fructus Serenoae Repentis
  • Ju-Zhong
  • Palma Enana Americana
  • Palmier de Floride
  • Palmier Nain
  • Palmier Nain Américain
  • Palmier Scie
  • Palmiste
  • Sabal
  • Sabal Fructus
  • Sabal Palm
  • Saw Palmetto Berry
  • Scrub Palm
  • Scrub Palmetto
  • Serenoa

What is this product used for?

Saw palmetto is used by some men to help with signs of an enlarged prostate. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. Some men also use it to help slow prostate cancer growth. Some people use it to help with hair loss.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • Do not use this product if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.

  • Do not use this product if you are breastfeeding.

  • Avoid use in children younger than 12 years.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to thin your blood. These are drugs like warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, and other anticoagulants.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have liver problems.

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Increased gas

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Acne

  • Hot flashes

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of liver problems. These include upset stomach or throwing up, belly pain, feeling tired, dark urine, yellow skin or eyes, not hungry.

  • Bruising or bleeding

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Very bad headache

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. You should not rely on this information in deciding whether or not to use, or accept your healthcare provider’s advice regarding use of, any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices. This information does not endorse any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about natural products, possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to you. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about your health and treatment options.


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Further information

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