Skip to main content

Saw Palmetto

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 7, 2022.

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 has been used by some men to help with signs of an enlarged prostate, called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. Current information does not support the use of saw palmetto for this use or any other health problem.

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, heparin, and other anticoagulants.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to dissolve blood clots. These are drugs like alteplase, reteplase, or streptokinase.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to help with swelling or inflammation. These can also increase your risk of bleeding. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs that affect your hormones. These are drugs like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, anastrozole, exemestane, fluvestrant, letrozole, or tamoxifen.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Bleeding problems

    • Cancer

    • Liver problems

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Headache

  • Increased gas

  • 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 that is not normal

  • Blood in your stools or dark, tarry-colored stools

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Sore muscles

  • Tender or sore abdomen

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider's examination and assessment of a patient’s specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at


Copyright © 2022 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.