Saw Palmetto's Effectiveness in Treating Hair Loss

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Saw palmetto is a small palm tree home to North America, which berries have been used for ages by Native Americans to treat urinary problems. Saw palmetto berries have been imported to Europe for about five decades now and used in numerous OTC remedies designed for treating prostate enlargement. However, with the invention of the true cause of male pattern baldness being the dihydrotestosterone’s (DHT) harmful effects on hair follicles, saw palmetto became highly valued as a potential remedy for hair loss. The fact is that DHT, a metabolite of the male hormone testosterone, causes damage to two organs - prostate and hair follicles, leading to benign prostatic hyperplasia and irreversible loss of hair. So ever since this discovery, the researchers around the world have been exploring various natural substances that were supposed to help shrink enlarged prostates for their potential to treat hair loss.

Saw palmetto happens to be the best known prostate treatment of natural origin that has also become an extremely popular hair loss remedy. Its extract can be found in almost any natural hair loss product out there and it is claimed to be no less effective in eliminating the destruction caused by DHT on our hair follicles than the only FDA approved hair loss pill Propecia (finasteride). In addition, saw palmetto is promoted as a healthy alternative to Propecia as it is supposed to cause no negative side effects. However, this herb has never been clinically proven to promote new hair growth and even its positive effects on shrinking enlarged prostates have been made questionable recently. Moreover, there are plentiful consumer reports from its users, complaining about allergic reactions, testicular discomfort, stomach pain, difficulties with erections, lower libido, etc. and considering that saw palmetto is also known to cause stomach bleeding you are best advised to avoid this treatment. Hence to conclude, it should be said that applying saw palmetto topically may help you avoid some of its negative side effects associated with its oral use but, in all likelihood it would also deprive you of its hair growth promoting benefits, if there were any.