In the medical community, the culprit that recurs with consistent frequency as the catalyst for many chronic conditions is inflammation. And, in the conditions in which inflammation is not the leading causative factor, it is certainly one of the stooges that complicate and worsen virtually any condition. While temporary inflammation can be a warning sign and even a signal for healing, as a chronic state, it is harmful, and can cause an array of symptoms prolonging the path to healing.
Inflammation is such a commonly treated symptom, that there is an entire drug category related to it: NSAIDS- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine. Let’s also not forget the steroidal anti-inflammatories as well. These medications are used in such a wide array of conditions, it would be difficult to list them all. Pain, dermatological conditions, headaches, allergies, PMS, and joint aches are just a few conditions in which inflammation plays a significant role. These medicines are not without side effects, and in a world in which inflammation is rampant, there is a considerable need for natural alternatives to help control the inflammatory cascade. A mulititude of cases present in clinics daily with complaints related to inflammation. Doctors and patients need to be armed with solutions without the concern of potentially hazardous side effects.
Saw Palmetto, or Serenoa Repens, a berry that is most commonly associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia, has begun turning the heads of researchers to discover it’s mode of action in order to comprehend it’s efficacy in treating BHP. They noted that Saw Palmetto has a strong effect on reducing inflammatory markers such as IL – 6 (Interleukin 6) and several others. (2) Several of the markers that Saw Palmetto seems to influence are not only related to BHP, but also to certain kinds of cancer. The research still needs to progress, but the small Floridian berry appears to pack a punch when it comes to reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines that can lead to all kinds of health derangements.
The plant sterols, fatty acids, antioxidants that are found in Saw Palmetto appear to have beneficial effects on the body.(1) The berry is being used to treat hair loss, which is very interesting from the Eastern Medical perspective.(4) In Chinese Medicine, the hair is associated with healthy blood and strong Qi, or life force. If indeed, Saw Palmetto has on it’s list of beneficial effects that it helps hair to grow, then according to the natural sciences of old, the Saw Palmetto berry fortifies the blood and energy of the body. It’s a small berry with a big punch whose beneficial effects are only now beginning to emerge.
1. Abdel Bar FM. New chalcanonol glycoside from the seeds of saw palmetto: antiproliferative and antioxidant effects. Nat Prod Res. 2015;29(10):926-32. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2014.960413. Epub 2014 Sep 18. PMID: 25230777.
Sirab N, Robert G, Fasolo V, Descazeaud A, Vacherot F, de la Taille A, Terry S. Lipidosterolic extract of serenoa repens modulates the expression of inflammation related-genes in benign prostatic hyperplasia epithelial and stromal cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Jul 10;14(7):14301-20. doi: 10.3390/ijms140714301. PMID: 23846725; PMCID: PMC3742245.
Ye Z, Huang J, Zhou L, Chen S, Wang Z, Ma L, Wang D, Wang G, Wang S, Liang C, Qiu S, Gu X, Liu J, Weng Z, Wu C, Wei Q, Xie L, Wu W, Cheng Y, Hu J, Wang Z, Zeng X. Efficacy and Safety of Serenoa repens Extract Among Patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in China: A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial. Urology. 2019 Jul;129:172-179. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2019.02.030. Epub 2019 Mar 14. PMID: 30880074.
Zhu HL, Gao YH, Yang JQ, Li JB, Gao J. Serenoa repens extracts promote hair regeneration and repair of hair loss mouse models by activating TGF-β and mitochondrial signaling pathway. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2018 Jun;22(12):4000-4008. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_201806_15285. PMID: 29949176.