Botanical Name: Serenoa repens (syn. Seronoa serrulata) | Family: Palmaceae
Common name(s): Saw Palmetto, Sabal, Seronoa
- Palm tree/bush | Zones 8-11 | 7 feet tall/wide | Stems grow along the ground and upright. Green (and sometimes blue) leaves are the shape of a fan blade with sharp, saw-like edges. Fragrant white flowers in the spring followed by dark purple to black berries resembling grapes.
- Sun/shade to full shade | Most soils | Tolerates draught and salt | Grows year round
The berries are harvested in Autumn, when ripe. They are dried, often with the seeds removed. Be careful when harvesting, the leaf edges can cut skin or fabric!
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
Decoction: Bring 1/2-1 teaspoon of the berries to a boil in 1 cup water and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Drink 3x/day.
Tincture: 1-2ml 3x/day
Constituents: Essential oil, dextrose, flavonoids, lipids, polysaccharides, resin, steroids
Actions: Antiandrogenic, Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, endocrine agent, urinary antiseptic
Uses: Enlarged prostate, male tonic (tones and strengthens the male reproductive system), gastro-urinary tract infections
Combinations: Horsetail and hydrangea for treating enlarged prostate glands
Pungent, sweet, warm
- The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
- Holistic Herbal, David Hoffmann
- Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Andrew Chevallier
- University of Florida (EDIS)
- Photo courtesy of avogel_schweiz, via the CC license
I just happen to be heading down to South Carolina this year around the time they say the Saw Palmetto berries are ripe. My parents used to live on Fripp Island in the Saw Palmetto neighborhood. It’s been fun learning about this plant because of that. And I hope to gather some berries while I’m down there!