Natural Standard® Patient Monograph, Copyright © 2017 ( All Rights Reserved. Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.


Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens, Serenoa serrulata) is used popularly in Europe to treat symptoms of enlarged prostate. Although it is not considered the standard of care in the United States, it is the most popular herbal treatment for this condition. More than two million American men use saw palmetto for enlarged prostate, and it is commonly recommended as an alternative treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Many studies report that saw palmetto may be as effective as the hormonal agent finasteride (Proscar®) and may cause fewer side effects when used to treat bladder problems. Most research has focused on the saw palmetto product Permixon®. However, results are still mixed, and further research is needed.

Saw palmetto has also been used for low sperm count, low sex drive, hair loss, bronchitis, diabetes, inflammation, migraine, and prostate cancer, although there is limited evidence supporting its effectiveness for these conditions.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration