Saw palmetto, also known as sabal or Serenoa repens, is a plant native to the southeastern part of North America. It has been valued for centuries as a food source and for medical purposes, such as its ability to act as a sedative and a tonic. As with any homeopathic remedy or pharmaceutical drug, saw palmetto side effects may exist. For example, it may increase the chance of bleeding, which could be detrimental for people with hemophilia or other blood clotting disorders.
As a homeopathic remedy, most practitioners consider saw palmetto to be relatively safe. Saw palmetto side effects are typically mild. Some people who have used the plant for medical purposes have claimed that it caused dizziness, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and vomiting. There have been reports that it causes impotence in men, although the reports have not been scientifically proven. In fact, many of the saw palmetto side effects occurred in equal numbers as experienced by people who consumed a placebo or sugar pill.
There are concerns in the medical community that saw palmetto side effects may include problems with the pancreas or liver. In fact, there have been several reports indicating that people who used saw palmetto for medical purposes had damage to their liver or pancreas. Official scientific research has not been conducted to determine if saw palmetto was the actual reason behind the damage.
As with many homeopathic remedies and pharmaceutical drugs, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are urged to avoid using saw palmetto. It may mimic a hormone in the body that may harm the unborn child. Most homeopathic medicine practitioners consider the saw palmetto side effects for pregnant and breastfeeding women severe enough to render the plant unsafe for their consumption.
Someone who undergoes surgery should also be wary of the saw palmetto side effects. It has been shown to slow or prevent the clotting of blood. In addition, some practitioners warn that it may cause more severe bleeding during the course of surgery, giving surgeons extra concern. In fact, many practitioners encourage patients to stop using the remedy two weeks or more prior to surgery.
Although there are many saw palmetto side effects, it is also a useful remedy for a variety of ailments. For example, it has been recommended to treat men with enlarged prostate glands. It also is used to treat intestinal disorders, bronchitis, and bladder problems. In most cases, it should not be used as a substitute to traditional medicines.