Does Saw Palmetto Help with Hair Loss?

Saw palmetto is a dwarf palm tree native to North America, which berries have been used for centuries by Native Americans to treat urinary disorders. These berries and their extracts have been imported to Europe for about 50 years now and used in various over-the-counter prostate remedies. However, with the 1990s invention of the true cause of hereditary form of hair loss being the dihydrotestosterone’s attacks on hair follicles, saw palmetto became highly valued as a potential hair loss remedy. The fact is that dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a metabolite of the male hormone testosterone, can cause damage to two organs in human body, which are: prostate and hair follicles, leading to benign prostate enlargement and permanent hair loss. So ever since this discovery, the hair loss scientists have been trying to examine all sorts of natural substances that were supposed to help with enlarged prostates and turn them into potential hair loss remedies.

Saw palmetto is probably the best known natural prostate treatment that has later become a popular hair loss remedy. These days its extract cannot be missing in any natural hair loss product, whether oral or topical and many claim it is no less effective in eliminating the harmful effects of DHT on our hair follicles than the only clinically proven and FDA approved hair loss pill - Propecia. Moreover, saw palmetto is also promoted as a natural, healthy alternative to Propecia (finasteride) as it is supposed to posses no negative side-effects. The fact, however is, that saw palmetto has never been clinically proven to promote hair growth and even its positive impact on shrinking enlarged prostates has been cast in doubt recently. Additionally, there are numerous consumer reports from saw palmetto users, complaining about allergic reactions, stomach pain, testicular discomfort, lower libido, difficulties with erections, etc. and considering that saw palmetto is also known to cause stomach bleeding you should better think twice before getting on this treatment. In conclusion it should be mentioned that applying saw palmetto topically might help you avoid some of its negative side-effects but, it would most likely deprive you also of its hair growth promoting properties, if there were any.