Hypertension, which is also referred to as high blood pressure, is a common cardiovascular disease, and according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute one in three adult Americans suffer from high blood pressure.
Having high blood pressure dramatically increases your risk of developing such health ailments as coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and heart failure. While treatment of high blood pressure typically involves prescription medications and lifestyle alterations, proponents of saw palmetto claim this herb may help reduce your blood pressure.
What is Saw Palmetto?
According to the Mayo Clinic, evidence of saw palmetto dates back to ancient Mayan civilizations where it was used as an expectorant and antiseptic.
Modern research has debunked many traditional uses of saw palmetto; however, studies have found the active compounds in saw palmetto have been shown to have health benefits. The primary active constituents within saw palmetto include: polysaccharides, fatty acids, flavonoids and plant sterols.
Benefits of Saw Palmetto for Blood Pressure:
Upon writing this article, the use of saw palmetto to reduce high blood pressure has not been proven nor disproven amongst the scientific community. Although there are very few studies available that touch on this subject matter, the University of East Anglia outlines research stating that flavonoids, such as those found in saw palmetto, may aid in high blood pressure reduction. While this study is promising, it did not use flavonoids from saw palmetto and since there are numerous classes of flavonoids it is impossible to definitely say saw palmetto will have the same or similar effect.
Although scientific data does not clearly state saw palmetto is effective at treating high blood pressure, you may still supplement with this herb for its potential health benefits. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests taking 160 milligrams of saw palmetto twice daily. Make sure the supplement contains 85 percent plant sterols and fatty acids, which may be outlined as liposterolic content on the ingredient label.
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: What is High Blood Pressure?
MedlinePlus: Saw Palmetto
InteliHealth: Saw Palmetto
University of Maryland Medical Center: Saw Palmetto
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Saw Palmetto