Taking saw palmetto may be beneficial in improving prostate swelling symptoms and treating baldness in men, according to WebMD. Saw palmetto also affects testosterone levels in men, which can reduce cell growth in the prostate, notes Healthline. Some men may use saw palmetto to increase sex drive and fertility.
Taking saw palmetto consistently before prostate surgery can help reduce risks during and after surgery, states WebMD. One study shows that taking 320 milligrams of saw palmetto two months before prostate surgery may be effective in reducing time one spends in the hospital or in surgery. There is some evidence that shows saw palmetto in conjunction with other herbs helps symptoms of prostate swelling and pelvic pain due to infection. However, the research is inconsistent and it does not appear to improve prostate swelling symptoms that are not due to infection. It may also be beneficial in treating sore throat, asthma and chronic bronchitis, but more evidence is necessary to support these claims.
There are some side effects to taking saw palmetto, such as headache, nausea and dizziness, explains Healthline. Saw palmetto can affect blood clotting and cause liver injury in rare cases. It is possible to buy saw palmetto berries in health food stores, and some men's vitamins contain saw palmetto in addition to other ingredients.