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It has quite a high mineral content, half of which consists of sodium chloride. This is explained by the fact that the palm tree thrives best in coastal regions.
There is a suspicion that Sabal, like other palm species [such as Cocos nucifera], contains oestrogen-like substances.
Diuretic, sedative, tonic; milder and less stimulant than Cubeba or Copaiva. "It has been claimed that Sabal is capable of increasing the nutrition of the testicles and mammae in functional atony of these organs. It is a tissue builder." [Grieve]
"A standardized liposterolic [fat-soluble] saw palmetto berry extract demonstrates numerous pharmacological effects relating to its primary clinical application in the treatment of the common disorder of the prostate gland - benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH]. … A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed on thirty-five men with BPH; eighteen were given the saw palmetto extract at 160 milligrams twice daily and seventeen were given a placebo. At the end of the 90-day study, androgen, estrogen, and progesterone receptors from prostate tissue samples were evaluated by two different techniques. The results of the steroid evaluation indicated that the men receiving the saw palmetto extract had significantly lower cytosol [cellular] and nuclear [control center for the cell] receptor values for estrogen and progesterone compared to the placebo group. Since the progesterone receptor content is linked to estrogenic activity, the results of the evaluation imply that the saw palmetto extract exerts significant antiestrogenic effect. … Numerous studies on the saw palmetto extract have shown it to be effective in nearly 90 percent of patients with BPH, usually in a period of 4 to 6 weeks." [Murray]
Antiseptic; Aphrodisiac; Diuretic; Expectorant; Sedative; Tonic; Uterine tonic.
Saw palmetto berries are a tonic herb that is used in the treatment of debility, urinary tract problems and for reducing enlarged prostate glands.
The partially dried ripe fruit is aphrodisiac, urinary antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant, sedative and tonic[4, 222]. It is taken internally in the treatment of impotence, debility in elderly men, prostate enlargement and inflammation, bronchial complaints associated with coldness, and wasting diseases[222, 238]. Saw palmetto is one of the few Western herbs that are considered to be anabolic (strengthening and building body tissue and encouraging weight gain). The fruit pulp, or a tincture, is given to those suffering from wasting disease, general debility and failure to thrive. The fruit also has a beneficial effect on the urinary system, helping to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate gland and strengthening the neck of the bladder. The fruit has a probable oestrogenic action, it is prescribed in the treatment of impotence, reduced or absent sex drive and testicular atrophy in men and to stimulate breast enlargement in women. The fruit is also used in the treatment of colds, coughs, irritated mucous membranes, asthma etc[4, 222].
A suppository of the powdered fruits, in cocoa butter, has been used as a uterine and vaginal tonic.