Search Supplements & Articles
Your Account
Speedy Quick Re-Order
View your Shopping Basket

Can Saw Palmetto Benefit Women's Health?

2 min read

Saw palmetto, a dwarf palm native to the southeastern United States, has been historically acclaimed for its therapeutic properties. While it's widely recognized for its role in male health, particularly concerning the prostate, it's lesser known that saw palmetto may have notable benefits for women as well. Central to these potential benefits is its effect on testosterone levels. In this article we will delve deeper into the history, benefits, and implications of saw palmetto in women's health.

The Historical Context of Saw Palmetto

Native American tribes, particularly the Seminoles, were among the first to recognize and utilize the healing properties of saw palmetto. They consumed its berries for nutrition and treated various urinary and reproductive issues with them. By the 20th century, saw palmetto was being recognized in Western medicine, predominantly for addressing enlarged prostate in men. However, women, too, had been harnessing its powers, especially for menstrual and childbirth-related concerns.

Saw Palmetto and Testosterone: The Connection

Saw palmetto has been found to inhibit the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. This enzyme converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a more potent androgen. Elevated levels of DHT have been linked to various conditions in both men and women. By potentially inhibiting this conversion, saw palmetto might play a role in managing testosterone-driven conditions.

  1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): One of the hallmarks of PCOS is an imbalance of hormones, often including elevated testosterone. This can lead to symptoms such as hirsutism (unwanted facial and body hair). Saw palmetto's potential role in modulating testosterone levels makes it a subject of interest for managing PCOS symptoms. Some preliminary studies and anecdotal accounts suggest that it might help in reducing the effects of hirsutism in women with PCOS.
  2. Hair Loss: Androgenic alopecia, often referred to as male or female pattern baldness, can be influenced by DHT. Elevated levels of DHT can shrink hair follicles in susceptible individuals, leading to hair thinning and loss. Given saw palmetto's potential inhibitory effect on DHT production, it has been explored as a remedy for hair loss in both genders.
  3. Hormonal Balance: In addition to the above conditions, the potential hormonal balancing act of saw palmetto might benefit women dealing with menstrual irregularities or other hormone-driven conditions.

Safety and Considerations

Before starting any supplement, consulting with a healthcare expert is essential. Saw palmetto may have side effects like dizziness, headaches, and gastrointestinal disturbances. It's also crucial to understand that while there's some supporting evidence, comprehensive research is still needed to determine saw palmetto's definitive benefits and safety profile for women's health.


Saw palmetto's rich history and its potential influence on testosterone pathways make it an intriguing subject in the realm of women's health. As modern medicine continues its exploration, it's hoped that clearer insights will emerge on how best to utilize this ancient remedy for contemporary health challenges.

Related Supplements

A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.