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Scrubby, palm-like bush native to the South Carolina. Widely available dried, ground and put into OTC supplements in capsule form from numerous manufacturers.

Since this herbal product is not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), empirical claims or benefits are hard to come by. It may be just a nostrum, but many middle-aged men consider it helpful for prostate function or flow.

Manufacturers' recommended dosages are usually one or two capsules per day. Common formulations include 100 mg per capsule for saw palmetto from the berry portion only, or around 500 mg from the overall plant, sometimes including some berry-only derived saw palmetto and other additives such as pygeum and pumpkin seed.

"Uncle Jerry says saw palmetto makes him hornier because it works with zinc to increase and improve the flow of prostatic fluid."

"Prostatic fluid?"

"Yes, Kyle, the stuff that makes up about two-thirds of your semen."

"Are you sure it isn't just a nostrum with a placebo effect?"

"Could be, but why would my uncle avoid something that he knows has helped him even if the way it works is merely psychological?"

by al-in-chgo March 07, 2010
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