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Does Saw Palmetto Work for Menopause?

Does Saw Palmetto Work for Menopause?

ANSWER:

Though there is promising research, current research data does not support findings that saw palmetto works for menopause. 

More Info: Saw palmetto, a traditional herbal remedy, that may help manage some of the symptoms that are caused by the onset of menopausal stage in a woman’s life, characterized by the decline in the level of estrogen and progesterone hormones in a woman’s body. However, there is insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of using saw palmetto to treat these symptoms.

Menopause Symptoms and Saw Palmetto

In the year 2007, around 1.7 million American individuals used saw palmetto as a complement or an alternative to their Western medications. Doctors of alternative medicine and herbalists often recommend the use of saw palmetto for women, to treat the following conditions that are associated with menopause:

  • Fluid retention;
  • Dryness of tissues in bladder;
  • Hair loss and thinning;
  • Dryness and thinning of vaginal wall;
  • Decreased sex drive;
  • Hormonal imbalance;
  • Incontinence;
  • Chronic pelvic pain.

However, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, there is still no sufficient scientific evidence to prove that saw palmetto does alleviate these symptoms.

What is Saw Palmetto?

The scientific names of saw palmetto are serenoa repens or sabal serrulata. The saw palmetto plant is actually a small palm tree that is often found in the East Coast, specifically in Florida.

So far, scientific evidence shows that saw palmetto is effective when used to treat diseases such as prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer in men and for the treatment of urinary symptoms in both men and women.

These studies also show that there are no harmful effects in using saw palmetto in treating these ailments. However, it is still recommended that despite the absence of harmful side effects in using saw palmetto, the use of saw palmetto supplements should be monitored, as they may have potential interactions with other medicines or conditions, not yet shown by these studies.

 

REFERENCES:

“Menopausal Symptoms and CAM .” National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM] – nccam.nih.gov Home Page. Version D406. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. <http://nccam.nih.gov/health/menopause/menopausesymptoms.htm>.

“Saw Palmetto.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 4 Aug. 2019. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlin

“Urinary Tract Conditions: Examining the Evidence on Cranberry and Saw Palmetto [Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Focus on Research and Care.” National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM] – nccam.nih.gov Home Page. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. <http://nccam.nih.gov/news/ne

Balch, James F., and Mark Stengler. Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies, Including Diet and Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Bodywork, and More. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2004. Print.

Sosnowska, Joanna, and Henrik Balslev. “Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine | Full Text | American Palm Ethnomedicine: A Meta-analysis.” Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine | Full Text | American Palm Ethnomedicine: A Meta-analysis5.43 (2009). Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine | Home. 24 Dec. 2009. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. http://www.ethnobiomed.com/content/5/1/43.

Moyad, M. A. “Under-Hyped and Over-Hyped Drug-Dietary Supplement Interactions and Issues.” Urologic Nursing 85.7 (2010). PubMed.gov. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20359149.

 

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