Saw Palmetto(Serenoa repens)Traditionally used to relieve the urologic symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)Saw palmetto is a small palm tree indigenous to the southeast of the United States, particularly Florida. Over the past few years, this herb has emerged dramatically into the public eye, as researchers confirm its astounding effectiveness in the treatment of BPH.Even in the early part of the last century, in their classic reference text, Eclectic physicians like HW Felter and JU Lloyd lauded it as "the old man’s friend, giving relief to the many annoyances commonly attributed to the enlarged prostate.""After age 40," contemporary herb expert Michael Castleman explains, "men’s level of testosterone decline, while levels of other hormones, notably prolactin, increase. This results in an elevation of the male sex hormone dihydrotestosterone, which is responsible for the overgrowth of prostate tissue that is characteristic of BPH. An enzyme, 5-alpha-reductase, converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Pharmaceutical BPH treatments work by interfering with the action of 5-alpha-reductase. Saw palmetto has the same biochemical action, thanks to the sitosterol compounds. Many studies have shown that saw palmetto shrinks enlarged prostates and relieves BPH symptoms: the need to urinate immediately (urgency), difficulty getting started (hesitancy), decreased flow, difficulty finishing (dribbling), and perhaps most annoying, the need to get up at night to urinate (nocturia)."It is small wonder that Commission E, Germany’s foremost herbal authority, has approved saw palmetto for: "Urination problems in benign prostatic hyperplasia stages I and II."Naturopath William Mitchell adds his high praise of this herb: "This tremendous male reproductive herb can be used as a tonic to the male hormone level and to prevent the binding of 25-dihydrotestosterone to the receptor sites in the prostate. This prevents prostate hyperplasia and potentially helps to prevent prostate cancers."As widely published herbal botanist James Duke remarks, unlike saw palmetto, synthetic drugs for the treatment of BPH are apt to have "some disturbing side effects, among them decreased libido, ejaculatory problems and erection loss."Finally, leading herbalist David Hoffmann notes that, "Numerous studies show that saw palmetto extract is effective for nearly 90% of patients with BPH."Administration:20-35 drops (0.7-1.2ml), three times daily, in a mouthful of water, on an empty stomachContraindications and Cautions:Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Discontinue use 2 weeks prior to surgery. Take with food if this product causes upset stomach. Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are taking blood thinners, oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. If symptoms persist after 6 months, consult a health care practitioner.