The dwarf palm tree has a long history of use. The first black fruits of the plant began to be eaten by the Indians of South and Central America. In Europe, the healing properties of berries were learned only in the XXVI century, after the complete colonization of most tribes. The male part of the population of that time chose this remedy as a tonic and sexual stimulant. No less popular medicinal plant today. Many food additives and medicines are prepared from fresh or dried fruits.
Dwarf palm — botanical description
The dwarf palm or creeping serenoa (Serenoa repens) grows in the south-east of America, mainly along the sea coasts or in pine forests. Single trees are found in the Antillean Archipelago and the Yucatan Peninsula. The scientific name of the palm is Sabal serrulatum, under which the plant is used in medicine. Locals call the tree saw-palmetto, which means palm saw, because of the leaves with sharp, cutting edges.
It is interesting. The genus Serenoia was named after the American scientist Sereno Watson. The species name (creeping) characterizes the appearance of the tree.
A low plant with a horizontal, herbaceous trunk is topped with a cap of fan-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Fragrant, white-yellow flowers are collected in dense panicles-inflorescences up to 50 cm long. The fruit is a single—seeded drupe, which changes color from green to blue-black as it matures. There is a hard seed inside the berry.
The indigenous population of America used serenoa repens fruits for the treatment of disorders of the genitourinary system and prostate, a tonic drink rich in useful substances was prepared from them, which was given to patients with tuberculosis and bronchitis. Women believed that the fruits of Serenoa repens stimulate breast growth and get rid of black body hair.
It is the berries of the sabal palm that have a pronounced therapeutic effect. For the preparation of medicines, brown or dark red drupes containing the largest amount of valuable substances are collected. They are dried in special installations or laid out directly in the sun in one layer. Stored in paper bags or cardboard boxes for no longer than 3 years.
It is interesting. Pickers of medicinal berries are at great risk during the procurement of raw materials. Not only do razor-sharp leaf stalks inflict deep and long-lasting wounds on people, there are many rattlesnakes lurking in the thickets of a dwarf palm tree.
But all this risk pays off with the huge benefits of berries. The fruits of the creeping serenoi contain a large amount of polysaccharides and rare organic acids (myristicin, laurel, oleic).
Other useful compounds have also been found in the bones:
- plant sterols;
- essential oils;
- tanning compounds;
Berries contain a small amount of vitamins and trace elements, steroid components, resins and tannins.
But the main value of dwarf palm berries is given by phytosterols: beta-sitosterol 3-O-β-glycoside, phagasterol, stigmasterin, campesterol, as well as cycloartan.
What are the fruits of the creeping palm treated for?
In unproven medicine, serenoa repens berries are used as a tonic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and sedative.
Attention. Most of the medicinal properties of palm trees today are still not confirmed by clinical trials.
Since the pulp of the fruit has a pronounced antiandrogenic effect, medicines based on it are used to combat androgenic alopecia and various skin problems: acne, pimples, seborrhea.
Other useful properties of the serenoa palm:
- strengthening the body after serious illnesses;
- restoration of prostate functions;
- stimulation of the synthesis of male sex hormones, preservation of reproductive qualities;
- maintaining the work of the urogenital system, facilitating the act of urination in men;
- restoring the hormonal background in women, reducing the fat content of the skin.
The fruits of the dwarf palm can be used as an adjunct in the treatment of rheumatism, autoimmune disorders, respiratory infections. Berry extract is considered an excellent sunscreen, preventing and eliminating the negative effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Dwarf palm extract — application features
Today, the extract of the fruit of the creeping palm is used for the manufacture of all kinds of dietary supplements and medicines.
In the USA, dry extract of serenoa is used as a dietary supplement and is included in various dietary supplements. Sometimes the remedy is found in the form of dry powder or alcohol tincture.
Attention. Those who use the fruits of the sabal palm for hair should remember that preparations based on them do not stimulate the growth of new curls, but only slow down the loss of existing ones.
Dwarf palm — benefits for men
Dry statistics say that more than half of men over the age of 45 have the first symptoms of an inflammatory lesion or prostate adenoma, and by the age of 60, most of the representatives of the stronger sex have a diagnosed disease. The sawtooth palm extract will help prevent or slow down the development of pathology.
The mechanism of action of the medicinal substance is based on reducing the level of DHT directly in the prostate gland, without affecting its total content in the body.
A decrease in the concentration of dihydrotestosterone slows down the growth of the tumor, eliminates the inflammatory process and edema, resulting in a gradual restoration of urogenital functions.
The effect of creeping palm extract depends on the stage of the disease at which therapy is initiated. Treatment will be more effective at the very beginning of the development of pathology.
Long—term practice has proven another useful quality of palm sabal for men – sexual rejuvenation. Regular intake of the drug restores potency, increases libido and improves reproductive function.
The benefits of dwarf palm for women
The appearance of a woman largely depends on the state of her hormonal background and if there are any problems with it, then no cosmetic procedures, expensive creams and the right lifestyle will help to look good.
Increased DHT creates a lot of problems and leads to abundant hair loss, oily skin, acne, a boyish figure, menstruation failure.
The extract of the dwarf palm berries is considered a strong antiandrogen. It harmonizes the endocrine system, while not disturbing the concentration of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones. Due to this property, the drug has found wide use in the following diseases in women:
- polycystic ovary syndrome;
- androgenetic alopecia;
- striae and stretch marks
An additional and very pleasant bonus is the fact that the extract of Serenoa repens increases the breast and rejuvenates the skin with prolonged use.
The German company BASF has developed and introduced to the market a variety of cosmetics containing serenoa repens extract. Studies have shown that co-palmetto extract accelerates the synthesis of collagen and elastin in damaged fibers and prevents the appearance of stretch marks.
Attention. Unlike most of these products, dwarf palm concentrate is quite effective on long-standing striae.
Serenoia creeping: instructions for use and contraindications
The effect of taking the extract increases gradually, so it is recommended to use it for at least 4-6 months. Then, after a break of 30-60 days, the reception can be resumed. If no adverse reactions occur during treatment, the interval between courses can not be done.
The recommended dosage of the drug in capsules is 160 mg twice a day. The extract tincture should be consumed 1 tsp per day. You need to start taking it with a minimum portion, gradually increasing the dosage to the recommended one.
The creeping palm goes well with licorice root and nettle, which are also used to alleviate the symptoms of polycystic ovaries.
However, despite the unique therapeutic qualities, the fruits of the dwarf palm will not be useful to everyone. Their use is prohibited in the following cases:
- during pregnancy and lactation;
- patients with gastritis and stomach ulcer;
- while taking birth control pills.
In case of overdose, the drug can cause digestive disorders, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, allergies.
Dwarf palm extract: which one to buy?
Today, saw-palmetto extract is produced in various forms. These can be tablets, capsules with powder, liquid tincture, creams and lotions. Dietary supplements with dwarf palm have become the most widespread among women suffering from hirsutism and polycystic ovaries. There are many good reviews on this topic, but it is difficult to judge their objectivity, since ladies often use the supplement together with other drugs that are close in action.
As for the benefits for men, everything is much more definite here — representatives of the stronger sex usually use one thing, so they are more impartial. So, most of those suffering from prostate adenoma note in their reviews a decrease, and sometimes the disappearance of symptoms of malaise, relief of urination, improvement of general well-being.
Lotions and creams made on the basis of dwarf palm fruits are used externally to rejuvenate the skin and stimulate hair growth.
There are also oils based on co-palmetto. For example, CO2 extract is a brown liquid (at room temperature) with a characteristic fruity smell. In the cold, the oil thickens. The product is used in its pure form or added to creams and hair masks.
The effectiveness of the extract from the fruits of the dwarf palm has not been scientifically proven, but the centuries-old use of funds based on it speaks in favor of the plant. If you want to try a supplement, be sure to consult your doctor and donate blood for hormones.