Saw Palmetto – Can it truly stop hair loss?

Saw Palmetto – Can it truly stop hair loss?

July 24, 2019

Saw Palmetto and BPH

Are you are an elderly man suffering from benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlargement of the prostate? If yes, then you have probably read or heard about the “miracle” herb, Saw Palmetto, and its relative efficacy in treating or at least providing symptomatic relief from BPH. However, did you know that the same activity saw palmetto is known for is also effective in the treatment of male-pattern baldness?

Men need to understand what causes male-pattern baldness, in the first place, to appreciate how saw palmetto hair loss treatments can be of help in the prevention of androgenetic alopecia or hereditary hair loss.

Saw palmetto’s benefits to BPH sufferers

BPH mostly occurs in elderly men, in which there is an overactivity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase that converts the male sex hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). An overproduction of DHT causes the prostate glands to enlarge. Saw palmetto benefits BPH sufferers by inhibiting the production of 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, consequently lowering DHT levels and effectively reducing the size of an enlarged prostate.

The oil form

The saw palmetto oil is typically massaged on the hair and scalp, and then the hair is covered with a towel or shower cap for the best results. Saw palmetto oil may be used in conjunction with an herbal hair rinse as well as Burdock root oil. This is a topical approach, rather than oral intake of saw palmetto extracts, although proponents of saw palmetto believe best results can be achieved with combined usage.

Its hair loss prevention is still approved by the FDA

It is noteworthy enough that saw palmetto hair loss prevention is still not backed by scientific research. In fact, it remains unregulated by the FDA. Some proponents of the herb often stress its similarity to the drug Propecia; take note that the drug has been approved for hair loss treatment since 1997 after two years of its extensive scientific study and data gathering.

Side effects on women

Saw palmetto side effects can include hormonal complications, which is the reason why pregnant women should never take it. Saw palmetto is sold in the U.S. drug stores as a supplement, beyond the regulation of the FDA. There was one case documented stating how a patient suffered severe hemorrhage during an operation following a lengthened intake of saw palmetto supplement.

It is not a good choice for women

The potency of herbs must never be taken lightly. In fact, they can be as potent as the registered drugs with prolonged use. Saw palmetto is not intended for use in women, pregnant or not, because women hair loss can be associated with a number of factors, including underlying medical conditions. Any possibility of medical causes must be addressed first or at least cleared, before treatment for women hair loss can begin.


Saw palmetto is still subject to a growing debate and further scientific studies. Let us see what the future has to say about it once and for all!

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