Saw Palmetto derives from a palm type plant native to North America. The plant produces berries which contain the active ingredients used in many herbal type products, including herbal pills; shampoos; conditioners, and lotions.
In parts of Europe and America it is being used as a successful herbal treatment in males for the condition known as BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Having this condition may lead to altered levels of DHT which can result in hair loss. But, it has been found that Saw Palmetto is not only proving to be effective in prostate disease, it has the added advantage of encouraging hair growth and can be effective as an alopecia treatment.
Although there is not a great deal of research carried out to date, it appears to work by
blocking the enzyme 5 alpha reductase which converts testosterone in to the androgen DHT, which in turn can shrink the hair follicle leading to eventual baldness. Indirectly, therefore, Saw Palmetto hair loss treatment can be characterised as a herbal DHT inhibitor.
It’s action in hair regrowth can be vastly improved by using it in combination with other associated herbal products that have a similar effect, for example pygeum bark and nettle root, to name just a few herbs used in hair restoration.
There are few reported side effects using this herbal treatment, but if it is used by women suffering from hair loss they should be made aware that it appears to alter hormone levels, particularly oestrogen (having the effect of lowering the level).
An additional notable effect of Saw Palmetto is that it has a direct effect on blood thinning and coagulation, therefore, anyone taking medication such as Warfarin should be cautious.
When used as a hair growth therapy, in combination with scalp therapy which has the effect of removing sebum from the hair follicles, absorption rate is greatly improved. If this treatment programme is then used in combination with laser hair growth therapy, results for hair growth can be significantly improved.