Home / Holistic Herbs / Health Benefits of Saw Palmetto Stimulating Regrowth of Thinning Hair in Women

Health Benefits of Saw Palmetto Stimulating Regrowth of Thinning Hair in Women

Saw Palmetto fruit health benefits have a long history supporting many health ailments and symptoms.

The WildLife Ecology and Conservation Department of Florida published a document in 1996 titled, Saw Palmetto: an Ecologically and Economically Important Native Palm.

The authors included a history of the medicinal value of the Saw Palmetto fruit. The report states that scientific literature in the US dates as far back as the 1800’s describing the use of tinctures of the fruit and the crushed seeds.

For decades commercialization of the medicinal fruit has lead to the creation of a pharmaceutical extract of Saw Palmetto called Permixon, which is successfully used to treat human benign prostatic hypertrophy. Research studies continue as many additional health benefits have been identified beyond prostate gland swelling which is the most known use.

Saw Palmetto has been found a positive support for treating a variety of women’s health issues, too. The following is a question presented to Dr. Leia on how Saw Palmetto might be used for thinning hair and hair loss, along with other women’s hormonal problems.

Saw Palmetto for Thinning Hair

Question for Dr. Leia: Can you please tell me if Saw Palmetto is safe to take for thinning hair?

I am 64 years old and my hair has been gradually thinning the past 15 years or so. Would this supplement effect my hormones? What dosage would be appropriate?

Could I also use a topical gel or oil of the saw palmetto on my scalp? Your answer would very much be appreciated.

Dr. Leia’s Answer: Saw Palmetto, also called Dwarf Palm or Serenoa repens, is an indigenous North American herb which has been historically used by Native Americans to treat reproductive, urinary, and genital problems, and also as an aphrodisiac.

Picture of Saw Palmetto PlantIn Europe, it is known by the name Sabal, and has been highly researched and recommended as a remedy for enlarged prostate. The berries of the Saw Palmetto plant are the source of the medicinal herbal extract preparations.

Along with it’s proven inhibitory effect upon the enlarged prostate gland, Saw Palmetto is used to treat bladder urgency and frequency, bladder inflammations, bronchitis, asthma, and coughs, because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties.

It is considered a phyto-hormone, or plant hormone, with estrogenic effects as well as decreasing the androgen or male hormones which either compete for receptor sites on the cells or inhibit the receptor cells.

In male pattern baldness, the conversion of testosterone into DHT or dihyrotestosterone is responsible for one type of hair loss in both men and women. However, if you have any endocrine gland deficiencies, specifically thyroid or adrenal, then preventing the conversion of DHT will not affect the hair loss.

It is important to rule out circulatory, thyroid, and adrenal insufficiency when treating female hair loss.

Since there are no known side effects from using Saw Palmetto, then you could give it a try for your problem. Conventional dosage is 320 mg. of the standardized herb per day, in divided doses of 160 mg. I don’t see why you could not used the topical gel or oil of Saw Palmetto if you wanted to try it, or even a tincture. Research has stated that saw palmetto has properties that reduce DHT, which is a hormone that has been found to contribute to male pattern baldness.

You could easily add Saw Palmetto Tincture, or the gel in a capsule of the extract and add to this simple to create natural hot oil treatment recipe created by Toria Betson for stimulating hair growth.

Susan Weed, a prominent herbalist, recommends using Saw Palmetto for menopausal problems, including hot flashes, and as an aid for vaginal lubrication after menopause. Since this herb also builds muscle, it is ideal for post menopausal women to help to tone the body and to give the body a sleek, firmer appearance.

It is also possible that it may stimulate breast enlargement and currently is used in many formulas for augmentation of the breasts. See the links listed below to learn more about Susan Weed and her work with women’s health problems using natural herbs.

Saw Palmetto Organic Hair Shampoo and Conditioner

Saw Palmetto Organic ShampooOrganic Saw Palmetto Hair Thickening ConditionerYou may also want to find haircare products already available on the market rather than make your own hot oil treatment. For instance, Avalon Organics offers quality organic hair products with Saw Palmetto designed to promote thick healthy hair. If you would prefer to purchase organic hair products designed to control hair loss while nourishing follicles give Avalon Organics a try.

To learn more, visit > Avalon Organics Hair Shampoo with Saw Palmetto

To learn more, visit > Avalon Organics Conditioner with Saw Palmetto

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  1. I have a family history of cancer, sister with breast cancer, and I have Multiple Sclerosis. I also have bladder issues for which I have been considering taking saw palmetto. I have read where the herb is “immune stimulating” which makes me question using it because of my MS. Also, with family history of cancer and the hormonal stimulation involved with the herb, would it be safe for me to take? I’m gathering info. and weighing out the benefits vs. possible negative impacts. Thanks for any help.

  2. Dear Danielle,

    Saw Palmetto is a potent herb and should not be used by people who may have many allergies or other sensitivities, pregnant women, and people who take various prescription medications and other drugs. Saw Palmetto also has a strong hormonal effect and should not be taken with other hormonal prescription drugs or preparations, such as estrogen, DHEA, and testosterone. I cannot say if it will have an effect upon your autoimmune disorder, but it probably would be safer to find a homeopathic remedy for your bladder issues. Marshmallow herb is a more gentler herb and is specific for bladder problems, along with other soothing demulcent herbs such as slippery elm. You might also want to think about supplementing with anti-inflammatory substances such as Omega 3 fatty acids including fish oil supplements containing DHA and EPA, Flax seeds and oil, and natural vitamin E, and other strong anti-oxidants. I hope this helps.

  3. I am a 27 year old female suffering from hair loss and am considering Saw palmetto. I noticed some people use saw palmetto to increase their sex drive and a side affect could be more muscle. These sound like the effects of yet more testosterone which is my problem to begin with. My question is, could Saw Palmetto increase testosterone in me when I am already producing too much? More muscle and sex drive sounds like more testosterone. I definitely don’t want to make this problem worse.

  4. Hello, I am a 40 year old woman taking saw palmetto to lower androgen levels. My question is, how does Saw Palmetto stop hair loss on the head but prevent hair growth in other areas on a woman’s body? I do not understand how it can both prevent and stimulate hair growth in different parts of the body at the same time. Is there any possibility that it can stimulate more unwanted hair at all?

  5. I have fine, thin hair and consequently have tried several volumizing shampoos. I find that the Made from Earth “Tea + Protein Shampoo” does truly add volume to my hair, as well as making styling control a bit easier. And it does have a wonderful scent! I could stand in the shower all day washing my hair with this shampoo. I will continue to buy this product over and over again because I’ve seen it make my hair thicker. It’s probably the protein making the hair strands stronger. Plus it chemical free, so there is no harm in using it. Recommended if you are interested in adding more volume to your hair.

  6. Hi I am a 30 year old suffering from female pattern baldness. I am planning to start a family and a hair consultant recommended saw palmetto shampoo along with minoxidil. I have read saw palmetto should not be used when pregnant. I would appreciate it if you could advise me on whether saw palmetto or minoxidil will have any side effects on the baby?

  7. Saw palmetto is indeed an effective herb for hair loss and for treating BPH, but as one of your comments says, it can cause quite nasty reactions in those people unlucky enough to be allergic to it.

  8. Dr. Leia, I am a female in mid 20’s. I use to be bustier in my teens, but then I have gradually lost my breast tissue and almost appear flat chested. I am thinking of taking saw palmetto supplements to regain my bust size. Should I be worried about any side effects?

  9. Hi Jess, you may also want to read this article to learn more about > herbs that help firm breast tissue.

  10. Hello, I heard that Saw palmetto, also known as sabal palmetto, is used to remove the unwanted hair for ever, is that true? I live in Kuwait, we have a lot of palm trees here, and they call it’s fruit, dates. I want to know please if dates are the same as Saw palmetto and when can we use it? It’s color first is yellow, then when it ripens it becomes brown, so please tell me when can we use it before or after it ripens.

  11. Extremely worrying numbers that are experiencing hair loss these days. Makes those of us vain women pause and think…:), but this is a subject near and dear to me.
    My mother experienced this in her mid 40’s and resorted to wigs, and though she wasn’t happy with the hassle that it took to keep and maintain, it was her only recourse (at least she felt), and the only way she would get out of the house to do anything. You would think that in todays age of technology and medical science, there would be something that would be developed that would eradicate hair loss today!

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