Serenoa repens (W. Bartram) Small - syn.Serenoa serrulata Hook - Arecaceae
saw palmetto, scrub palmetto, Sägepalme
Small clump-forming palm, up to 4m high, native from South Carolina to Florida; leaves fan-shaped; inflorescence erect, much-branched; flowers cream-colored.
„For the past 30 years Serenoa repens has become a widely used phytotherapy in the USA and in Europe, mostly because of positive comparisons to α-blockers and 5α-reductase inhibitors.
During the last 4 years we have seen two very high quality trials comparing Serenoa repens to placebo and up to 72 weeks' duration. These trials found Serenoa repens no better than placebo, even (in one trial) at escalating doses.
Serenoa repens therapy does not improve LUTS [lower urinary tract symptoms] or Qmax [maximum urinary flow rate] compared with placebo in men with BPH, even at double and triple the usual dose. Adverse events were generally mild and comparable to placebo.“
[Serenoa repens monotherapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): an updated Cochrane systematic review., MacDonald, R., Tacklind, J. W., Rutks, I., Wilt, T.J., BJU international, Vol.109(12), 2012, 1756-1761]
„Usually, the extract contains 70–95% free fatty acids like capric, caproic, caprylic, lauric, myristic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, stearic and palmitic acids with their ethyl esters and glycerides that occur most likely during the extraction process. Further phytosterols like β-sitosterol and β-sitosterol 3-O-D-glucoside, campesterol, and stigmasterol are found with about 0.1% of the total mass of the berries. Other constituents are carbohydrates such as mannitol and polysaccharides with galactose and arabinose, triterpenes, aromatic acids like ferulic and vanillic acid, β-carotens, the vitamine E derivates γ-tocopherol and δ-tocopherols, mono-acyl glycerides like 1-monolaurin and 1-monomyristin, and the monoamine tyramine… Saw palmetto fruits contain high amounts of oleic and lauric acid; each is present with around 30–40% of the total fatty acids…“
[A phytochemical comparison of saw palmetto products using gas chromatography and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy metabolomic profiling., Booker, A., Suter, A., Krnjic, A., Strassel, B., Zloh, M., Said, M., Heinrich, M., Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 66(6), 2014, 811-822] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jphp.12198/full
Lounsberry, A., Rowan, E., Southern wild flowers and trees, p.29, t.10 (1901) [E. Rowan]