Introduction of Saw Palmetto:Shrub Palmetto or Sabal Fructus.
✵The article gives records of the herb Saw Palmetto, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Serenoa repens(Bart.) Small., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Saw Palmetto, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
Saw Palmetto(Sabal Fructus).
English Name: Saw Palmetto.
Latin Name: Serenoa repens(Bart.)Small, sometimes referred to as Serenoa serrulata Hook.,F, Sabal serrulata Schult., or Serenoa serrulata(Michx.)Nichols.
Common Names: American dwarf palm tree, Cabbage Palm, Palmier Nain, serenoa, Sabal, Sabal Fructus, Shrub Palmetto.
Property and flavor: the taste of the seeds is soapy and unpleasant, the berry tastes slightly soapy and acrid.
Brief introduction: The herb is used by Native Americans to promote strength, Saw Palmetto berries have become one of the principal natural choices in the treatment of an enlarged prostate. The berries are regarded by some people as an aphrodisiac and are also used to treat a range of endocrine imbalances in both men and women, as well as being a general tonic. The dark, olive-sized fruit is picked when ripe, then partially dried and used medicinally. Saw Palmetto has been historically used as a treatment for prostate enlargement and chronic cystitis as well as a mild diuretic.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Saw Palmetto as the fruit berry of the species (1).Serenoa repens(Bart.) Small. It is a plant species of the Trachycarpus genus, the Palmaceae family(Arecaceae). The fruit berry is used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Serenoa repens(Bart.) Small.
Botanical description: Serenoa repens(Bart.) Small., it is a fan palm, the plant is a bushy palm with a maximum height of 6 meters, it grows as a shrub that attains a height of 0.6~2.1 meters (2~7 feet), or as a small tree that grows to 6~7.5 meters (20~25 feet). Shrubs grow in a creeping horizontal form with many branches on their stems. As a tree, the crown projects above the many tangled branches. Stems run parallel to the soil, and can gradually bury to form rhizomes. Stems sprouted from rhizomes can measure 3 to 4.6 meters (10~15 feet) in length (Tanner et al. 1996). The large, yellow-green leaves have up to 20 segments and form a crown. The leaves are light green inland and silvery-white in coastal regions. The leaves are 1~2 meters in length, and the leaflets are 50~100 cm long. They are similar to the leaves of the palmettos of the genus Sabal. The leaves have a bare petiole terminating in a rounded fan of about 20 leaflets. The petiole is armed with fine, sharp teeth or spines that give the species its common name.
The flowers are yellowish-white, about 5 mm across, and produced in dense compound panicles up to 60 cm long. The fruit is a large reddish-black drupe and is an important food source for wildlife and historically for humans. The inconspicuous cream flowers are in short, densely pubescent, paniculately branched inflorescence. The fruit is deep purple to almost black. It is an ovate, 3 cm long, 1-seeded berry. It has a hard but fragile pericarp that covers a pale brown, spongy pulp. The endocarp is thin and papery. The fruit is slightly wrinkled, 1.25 to 2.5 cm long, and 1.25 cm in diameter. The hard seed is pale brown, oval, or globular, and has a hilum near the base. The whole panicle can weigh up to 4 kg.
The teeth or spines are easily capable of breaking the skin, and protection should be worn when working around a saw palmetto.
Serenoa repens is easily recognized by its multiple leaves, or fronds, that protrude from horizontal stems that occur at or slightly below ground level. Fronds are evergreen and palmate (fan-shaped), measuring approximately 1 meter or 3 feet in width. Petioles bear sharp spines, from which this species earned its common name. Flowers are white and borne on stalked panicles growing from leaf axils. The fruit is yellowish green in the unripe state, gradually turning blue-black as it ripens. Fruits are fleshy and ellipsoid.
Ecological environment: This shrubby palm can be found in sandy soils throughout the southeastern USA (the United States of America) and parts of the Mediterranean region. The plant is indigenous to the coastal regions of the southern states of USA, from South Carolina to Florida and southern California and Southeastern Louisiana. Serenoa repens is the most common palm in USA.
Growth characteristics: The plant grows in part shade part sun, plant grows in the shade. It tolerates alkaline, clay, sand, acidic, loam soil. The plant tolerate drought, soil salt.
Economic Importance: Saw Palmetto has been grown commercially in the USA for decades, and currently about 175,000 acres of the plant are under cultivation there. Initially, most of the crop supplied the European herbal market. Now, interest in USA has meant increased demand for this herb and therefore, a need for additional cultivation. Foreign investors have purchased farms in the South specifically to grow the plant, and some ranchers are finding that it produces more profit than raising cattle. As a result, a growers' co-operative has also developed in the region.
History of the herb: Saw Palmetto was used by Native Americans in the early period, it was through Native American tribes, especially the Seminole Indians, that the healing aspects of the plant first came into recognition for what it is used for today. The Seminoles ground the berries into nutritious flour. They also made an infusion from the berries to cure stomachaches and dysentery. The inner bark of the trunk was used for packing on snake bites, insect bites, and skin ulcers. The dried fruits were useful for indigestion, respiratory infections, and catarrhal irritations. They, and several other tribes, utilized various parts of the plant to make baskets, brooms, and ropes. Historically, Native Americans used saw palmetto for such urinary tract disorders as bladder inflammation and infection, as well as a diuretic. It was also used for respiratory diseases and reproductive tract disorders, although it is mainly used for the prostate.
In the early 1700s, it was observed that Saw Palmetto berries were vital to the native tribes of the Florida peninsula; they used them to treat inflammation of the prostate and atrophy of the testes. The berries were also used for cases of impotence and to stimulate sexual activity in men. More generally, they were taken as a wide-acting tonic.
Since the 19th century, the fruit pulp has been used as a tonic for debility, urinary tract problems, and for reducing enlarged prostate glands. It was not until the late 19th century that the white European medical community began to take an interest in Saw Palmetto. Farmers had reported that their animals appeared in particularly good health when they had eaten the fruit of the plant. Decoction were soon being tested by herbal practitioners and articles about the plants' beneficial effects began to appear.
By the end of the 19th century, physicians of the Eclectic movement, which aimed to combine the best of scientific knowledge with traditional herbal remedies, are known to have included Saw Palmetto berries in their repertoire of herbs. Felter and Lloyd, for example, in their influential revision of King's American Dispensatory in 1898, referred to Saw Palmetto as 'the old man's friend' and supported its use in relieving symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, saying it could help treat irritation of the prostate, painful urination and dribbling of urine.
After World War I (First World War, WWI), Saw Palmetto was considered one of the most important natural remedies in the southern states. Word of its healing powers began to spread worldwide, and in the 1960s French researchers began to study the chemical constituents of the berries and their medicinal value. The result was the first trademarked Saw Palmetto product, Permixon, which was released in 1981.
Characters of herbs: The fruit, is usually referred to as the berries. The entire cluster is cut when most of the fruits are ripe. These are shaken off and dried on racks or tables. When still fresh they are not readily injured by rain, but if partially dried out they will absorb moisture which is not easily removed. It is best, therefore, to protect them from rain, which will also assure a more uniformly colored product.
Pharmacological actions: ①.relieve prostatic enlargement; ②.antiallergi; ③.immune system stimulating properties; ④.antiandrogenic effect; ⑤.antiestrogenic effect; ⑥.anti-inflammatory effect, etc.
Saw palmetto certain extract help reduce the symptoms of early prostatic enlargement, especially BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia). It strengthens the flow of urine, decreased the number of times need to urinate, reduces residual urine, made it easier to start urinating.
Saw palmetto fruit and extracts have antiallergic and immune-system-stimulating properties.
Antiandrogenic effect: studies found the lipophilic extract of the herb inhibits the binding of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to the cytosolic androgenic receptor and alpha1-andronoceptor in the prostate, thus preventing the accumulation of the steroid, which may lead to prostate hyperplasia.
Antiestrogenic effect: Antiestrogenic agents inhibit stromatic prostate mass growth in patients with benign prostate hypertrophy.
Anti-inflammatory effect: hexane extract of saw palmetto have anti-inflammatory activity.
Medicinal efficacy: Saw palmetto was used by Native Americans as a food, as a remedy for chronic cystitis or bladder inflammation, urinary tract infections, sex hormone disorders, impotence and frigidity, respiratory tract diseases, as an aphrodisiac, sperm booster, and breast-enhancer, as a diuretic to increase urine output. Today the herb is used for symptoms associated with prostate enlargement and inflammation, it is still used as a treatment for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In Europe, the herb is approved for irritable bladder, and prostate complaints, it relieves the difficulties associated with an enlarged prostate without reducing the enlargement. In folk medicine, Saw palmetto is used for inflammation of the urinary tract, bladder, testicles, and mammary glands. It has been used for nocturnal enuresis, persistent cough, eczema, and improvement of libido.
Administration of Saw Palmetto (Sabal Fructus):
Administration Guide of Saw Palmetto (Sabal Fructus)
Herbal classic books:
Dosage: A typical daily dose is 1 to 2 grams of ground, dried fruit. Alternatively, 320 mg of the lipophilic extract (alcohol or hexane extract 90%v/v), standardized to 90 percent fatty acids sterols may be taken. Two to three 600 mg fruit capsules are taken three times a day. The dosage used in studies demonstrated efficacy at 160 mg given twice daily or 320 mg given once daily.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Saw palmetto is safe for medicinal use. Large doses may cause diarrhea. The FDA placed saw palmetto on its formerly maintained list of "Herbs of Undefined Safety". The herb may interact negatively with prostate medicines or hormonal treatments, possibly canceling out their effectiveness or causing unwanted side effects, and may be unwise to take if you suffer from a hormone-dependent illness such as breast cancer. Pregnant and nursing women should not take it due to its potential hormonal effects.
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1.Introduction of Saw Palmetto:Shrub Palmetto or Sabal Fructus.