Does Saw Palmetto Raise Blood Pressure?

Does Saw Palmetto Raise Blood Pressure?
Herbs and Spices Collection - Saw palmetto. Hand-sketched herbal element on cardboard background. Suitable for ads, signboards, packaging and identity designs

I know that saw palmetto is a plant that has at least crossed your radar. As with any plant that has been hyped up with supposedly amazing benefits for hair loss, you are probably wondering two things.

First, if saw palmetto is really as good as everyone seems to keep saying this plant is for hair loss. And, second, what the catch is. Even most great things do tend to come with a catch, after all.

While saw palmetto is no different, blood pressure is not a light matter to think about. Those with blood pressure problems already are certainly justified in checking every little thing for how it can affect them.

So, a closer look at saw palmetto and the possible link between it and one’s blood pressure deserves some attention.

Why People Take Saw Palmetto

First, to understand why saw palmetto might affect your blood pressure, it is helpful to know why people take this plant in the first place and a little more about it. Saw palmetto is a plant in the palm family and native to North America, to start with.

It is the small berries of the saw palmetto plant that is used. So, anything that has saw palmetto in it has the berries unless it specifically states otherwise. These berries can be dried and eaten whole, though they don’t taste pleasant.

Because of the unpleasant taste, saw palmetto berries are often put in powdered form inside capsules, often with other ingredients. The most popular reason for supplementing with this plant is probably the effect it has on hair growth.

Considering the prevalence of hair loss due to pattern baldness, it is not surprising that this plant is well-known. And saw palmetto does a great job at helping with most cases of hair loss that are due to this. The reason is that it blocks the DHT responsible both from being formed and from attacking your follicles.

Though hair loss is the most common reason for taking saw palmetto, there are others. Enlarged prostrates in men is sometimes treated with saw palmetto, especially when caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Along with that, prostate cancer and other problems, as well as urinary problems, are also sometimes treated with saw palmetto. It is highly doubtful that a regular doctor will prescribe a plant of any sort, however.

So, an herbalist or other non-traditional doctor is who you would have to go to in order to know if saw palmetto is right for you. Since palmetto is becoming increasingly popular, more studies are being done to see what else this plant is good for.

How Saw Palmetto Can Affect Blood Pressure

Does Saw Palmetto Raise Blood Pressure?

As to how all of this about saw palmetto can affect your blood pressure, that is a long answer that is also made up of a fair amount of speculation. Saw palmetto does have some diuretic properties to it. Diuretic, in case you don’t recall, basically means something helps reduce water retention.

This is bad if you are not retaining enough water, but many retain too much water, which leads to swelling. Getting rid of this specific type of swelling can reduce the pressure in your body overall, including in your arteries.

Therefore, diuretic things like saw palmetto can actually help lower your blood pressure a little. Also, diuretic things do this in part by increasing the flow of things to your kidneys. This leads to more urination, which helps with your kidney and bladder health, allowing toxins to be flushed more easily.

This not only helps with kidney and urinary health, the ridding of toxins also helps your blood pressure even more. While saw palmetto doesn’t have a whole lot of an effect here, every small amount helps. If you have particularly high blood pressure, saw palmetto may not be enough, though.

Beneficial herbs of any type often have advantages other than what they are commonly known for. Remember that basically everything in your body affects everything else to some degree.

So, if you look at that deeply enough, you will find that practically everything you do – or don’t do – will affect your whole body in some way. Therefore, it should not be surprising that saw palmetto has a small effect on blood pressure.

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Getting The Right Saw Palmetto

Before you start using saw palmetto to treat your blood pressure, there are one or two cautions you must know. While saw palmetto can be used in many forms, you clearly are going to need to take it internally to help with blood pressure, for starters.

Even then, this plant can be a tablet, a capsule, a tea, and you can get it in its natural berry form. Though the form doesn’t particularly matter, the provider does. Tyramine is something many companies use to refine their saw palmetto during one stage of the process and is something you want to avoid.

This extra ingredient can increase your blood pressure instead of decreasing it. Also, you could end up with decreased libido or impotence, and even urinary retention. Essentially, the opposite of what you are taking the saw palmetto for.

Also, saw palmetto can interact with certain things like antihypertensive drugs, which are used to treat high blood pressure, all on its own even if it doesn’t have the tyramine in it. With the tyramine in it, however, it can also react to certain antidepressants.

Thus, great care about choosing your saw palmetto is absolutely vital if you truly want it to help with your blood pressure. If you don’t choose well, you will only make your blood pressure worse.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, saw palmetto can have a slight effect on your blood pressure. Most don’t notice or have any such effect at all, but it is still a possibility. You should always take care of things like high blood pressure as soon as possible.

If you don’t, you are more likely to have a stroke, heart attack, or something just as bad. Diet changes and exercise, at the very least, will likely be needed on top of something like saw palmetto. However, the rare but possible undesirable effects of saw palmetto may make you hesitate to use it.

This is why taking saw palmetto in a mixture with other herbs and ingredients is a wise idea. You still get saw palmetto’s benefits without as much of a likelihood of side effects. Things like Folexin are great for this reason.

So, consider using saw palmetto for both your hair and your blood pressure, and feel free to let me know if this plant was able to help you with either.

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Christopher is the founder of Hair Loss Geeks, which launched back in 2011. At the time there wasn't any credible information on the internet about hair loss. As someone suffering from hair loss himself, Christopher began his extensive research journey. After launching the site, he later graduated from Boston University in 2012 with his PhD in Biochemistry. What started off as a hobby project quickly became a bigger focus as it grew. Christopher hopes everyone can learn from both his experience and research.

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