Saw Palmetto Berries – Saw palmetto is a native plant to the southeast coastal United States as they thrive in sandy soil. The berries or fruits of the saw palmetto appear on the trees from the mid summer to fall seasons.
They been consumed as food as it is sweet with a slightly soap like taste and just a tad sour. Consumption of the saw palmetto fruit by early American settlers has long been believed to help stave off starvation.
Native Americans also used saw palmetto for medicinal purposes in addition to a food source. Its properties were long believed to aid in coughs and digestion.
American botanist John Lloyd first noted the positive effects of the berry on grazing animals. They appeared to have a healthy appetite and little respiratory or digestive issues compared to animals that did not graze on the saw palmetto.
Savannah physician J. B. Read, M.D. was the first to publish a paper on the benefits of saw palmetto. It was published in am 1879 American Journal of Pharmacy. He noted its positive effect on those with respiratory illnesses and its ability to aid in digestion by soothing smooth muscle contractions of the intestines.
Dr. Read discussed the health benefits of this herb over a century ago. Saw palmetto tends to have a relaxing effect on smooth muscle and mucous membranes.
This property makes it especially good for upper respiratory health and the health of the urinary tract. It has been touted as a beneficial herb for prostate health in men aiding in reducing inflammation of the gland as men age.
Its urinary benefits also help smooth the muscles of the bladder and urethra in both men and women reducing urinary incontinence and promoting healthy blood flow to the area.
In addition, saw palmetto has helped with minor upper respiratory conditions soothing the throat and bronchial tubes.
It’s been shown to reduce congestion and act as a natural expectorant for those with colds and upper respiratory infections.
In more recent years, it has been touted not only as a urinary health product, but also as an herb that touts sexual stamina and thyroid health.