Latin name: Serenoa repens
Parts used: Berries
Active Constituents: Phytosterols, polysaccharides, fatty acids, resins.
Therapeutic actions: Antiandrogenic. Anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic, nutritive, decongestant, demulcent, immunostimulant, aphrodisiac.
Used for low libido in men, for erectile dysfunctions, and as part of a wider treatment for low sperm count. It’s used in cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Researchers suggest it reduces swelling, prevents further growth of the prostate (because it promotes the degradation of dihydrotestosterone) and improves the flow of urine. It is used in other prostate conditions also, for example as an anti-inflammatory for cases of prostatitis. It can be used for inflammation in other structures of the male reproductive and urinary system too. For females, it is used alongside the likes of Angus castus to address polycystic ovaries and acne. It may also be part of a wider treatment of fertility issues in women linked to excess androgens. It is soothing and antimicrobial for urinary tract infection in both men and women.
Also used for promoting appetite, where it has found in particular use in cases of anorexia. It’s useful, calming adaptogen, and given the circumstances where it is used, you can imagine that such actions are often wholly appropriate. As an immunostimulant, it is often considered when someone lost a great amount of weight as a result of an illness (either serious or non-serious) and have become weak and debilitated. Here it supports the immune system and strengthens the constitution.
CONTRAINDICATED DURING LACTATION (pregnant or breastfeeding).