Some studies show that taking 320 milligrams of saw palmetto daily for two months before prostate surgery can decrease time spent in surgery and the hospital. They also show a decrease in blood loss during surgery, according to WebMD. Saw palmetto may slow blood clotting and must not be taken two weeks before surgery.
Additionally, some early studies show that saw palmetto may improve prostate swelling symptoms related to infections, explains WebMD. Other early studies show that taking saw palmetto along with selenium and lycopene may improve chronic pelvic pain syndrome. However, studies do not support the use of saw palmetto in preventing prostate cancer. Research is conflicting in regard to treating an enlarged prostate with saw palmetto.
Saw palmetto interacts with some types of medications, states WebMD. People who take anticoagulant medications should be cautious when taking saw palmetto. Saw palmetto should not be taken by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, as it acts like a hormone. However, saw palmetto is likely safe for the majority of people. Side effects caused by saw palmetto are generally mild, but some people report dizziness, vomiting, nausea, headache and diarrhea. There are also reports that saw palmetto causes impotence, yet these side effects occur at the same rate with a placebo pill.