Using Saw Palmetto on Women: Benefits and Side Effects

A popular herbal treatment for enlarged prostates, saw palmetto, is used quite often in Europe. It works by regulating the hormones. It is easy to take, as it comes in capsule, natural berry, tablet or tea forms. As with any type of herbal remedy or treatment, keep in mind that it might interact with other medications you are taking. Make sure your doctor is okay with you taking saw palmetto before you give it a try.

What Is Saw Palmetto Used for in Women?

1. Breast Augmentation

Saw palmetto for women is typically used for breast augmentation, thanks to the fact that it stimulates certain hormones that affect the ovaries and other sex organs. It can inhibit estrogen and testosterone. The result of these two processes means that your breasts might get bigger over time.

2. Regulated Menstruation

Those who have irregular periods will be happy to take saw palmetto, because it can make things much more regular. It also eases cramps and helps provide a bit more energy during those days before your period begins.

3. A Cure for Acne

Many women suffer from acne that is caused by hormone shifts. Saw palmetto can help regulate those hormones, leading to fewer breakouts. It might also help the pimples go away faster.

4. Treating Hirsutism

High levels of androgens can lead to unwanted hair growth on the body. Women who take saw palmetto can suppress these androgens, leading to less hair. However, it does take several doses over a long period of time to see any effects.

5. Hair Growth

Women who are suffering from thinning hair on their head might see it become fuller with saw palmetto. It doesn’t actually lead to more hair, but it does stop the follicles from shutting down, which means that the hair loss will stop.

6. Clearing Inflammation and Congestion

Inflammation throughout the body, especially in the pelvis, can be relieved with saw palmetto. It might also help with congestion, so conditions like bronchitis might benefit from it. Finally, it also serves as a diuretic which can help with bloating, especially around the time of your period.

Possible Side Effects of Saw Palmetto for Women

As with any supplement, there might be side effects. Therefore, it is important to get in touch with your doctor before trying out saw palmetto.

1. Gastrointestinal Discomfort

The most common problems for those who take saw palmetto include constipation, diarrhea, belly pain, nausea and bad breath. Fortunately, much of this can be alleviated by taking saw palmetto with meals. However, those who have gastrointestinal issues should probably not take this supplement.

2. Increase in Bleeding

If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners, it is not a good idea to take saw palmetto. If you are going to have surgery, speak to your doctor about stopping the saw palmetto in plenty of time to avoid an increase in bleeding.

3. Hormonal Changes

Saw palmetto for women is often used to get hormonal changes. However, some of these changes might be more than you bargained for. Changes in libido and breast tenderness might affect you more than you expected. Never take saw palmetto if you are already taking hormonal therapy.

4. Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions include rash, swelling or even difficulty breathing in serious cases. Fortunately, these reactions are extremely rare. However, those who are sensitive to saw palmetto or any members of the Arecaceae or Palmae family should avoid taking the medication.

5. Other Possible Side Effects

Some people suffer from headaches, muscle soreness, dizziness, sleeplessness and depression while taking saw palmetto. Some severe side effects might occur in those who already have underlying medical issues, such as kidney or heart disease. These side effects might include breathing trouble, jaundice and chest pain.

How Much Saw Palmetto Should Women Take?

Each woman is unique and her body needs are always personalized. Therefore, there is no clear dosage for saw palmetto. What works for one woman might be too much or too little for another. However, most women have found that a dosage of 160 mg extract per day has a good effect. That is also the recommended dosage for those who are dealing with hirsutism.

Other Women’s Reviews of Saw Palmetto

Many women have used saw palmetto and have met with both good results and side effects. Here are a few examples of what happened when they took saw palmetto for women:

“I started taking this because I was desperate to get rid of my acne. Sure enough, it worked! My face feels much less oily, especially in the morning. As an added bonus, my hair seems thicker.”

“I worried about my breasts being too small, so I took saw palmetto to help grow them. They really did get bigger, but they also got much more sensitive and ached all the time. I stopped the medicine and soon my breasts got smaller again. That’s when I realized that it doesn’t actually make your breasts bigger; it affects the hormones that affect the mammary tissues, so it looks like the breasts are bigger for a short time.”

“I used this for a few months and my hair seemed to get stronger and fall out much less. However, I was running to the bathroom quite often and that bothered me. The side effect was enough to make me stop taking it.”