Saw Palmetto is said to be a natural remedy for hereditary male pattern hair loss. This herb, that is easily found in health food stores, is available in many forms such as tablets, capsules, and liquid extract. The plant's berries can be made into tea.
Saw Palmetto is said to prevent the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase from turning testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is the hormone that causes male pattern baldness in men and to a lesser extent in women.
In a small study of healthy men between the ages of 23 to 64, taking one softgel (200 mg standardized saw palmetto) twice a day for four months reported a 60 percent improvement in hair growth.
The addition of gingko (G. biloba) to increase circulation to the scalp,
nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) which nourishes hair and lessens hair loss as well as plenty of protein from beans, dairy and meat and tofu is recommended for best results.
There are possible side effects of using Saw Palmetto.
Headache and diarrhea occasionally occur. Because saw palmetto may have hormonal effects, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not take it. Women taking hormone replacement therapy should consult their doctor before they take saw palmetto. Saw palmetto may interact with estrogen replacement therapy and with oral contraceptives.
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