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Commission E Monograph: Saw Palmetto Berry

Name of drug : Sabal fructus, saw palmetto berry.

Composition of drug : Saw palmetto berry consists of ripe, dried fruit of Serenoa repens (Bartram) Small [syn. Sabal serrulata (Michaux) Nuttall ex Schultes] (Fam. Arecaceae), as well as its preparations in effective dosage. The drug contains fatty oil with phytosterols and polysaccharides.

Uses: Urination problems in benign prostatic hyperplasia stages I and II.*

Contraindications : None known

Side effects : In rare cases, stomach problems.

Interactions with other drugs : None known

Dosage : Daily dosage: 1­2 g saw palmetto berry or 320 mg lipophilic ingredients extracted with lipophilic solvents (hexane or ethanol 90 percent v/v); or equivalent preparations.

Mode of administration : Comminuted herb and other galenical preparations for oral use.

Actions : Anti-androgenic, anti-exudative Note: This medication relieves only the symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate without reducing the enlargement. Please consult a physician at regular intervals.

*Note : Stage I is characterized by increase in frequency of urination, pollakiuria (abnormally frequent urination), nocturea (urination at night), delayed onset of urination, and weak urinary stream. Stage II is characterized by the beginning of the decompensation of the bladder function accompanied by formation of residual urine and urge to urinate.

Reprinted with permission from The Complete German Commission E Monographs—Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines, a 700-page guide featuring 380 monographs. The guide is published by the American Botanical Council, Austin, Texas, 1998.