It’s South Carolina’s beautiful state tree. It’s also an incredible natural and scientifically proven healer.

Regardless of how you are acquainted with this palm-like tree, the benefits of saw palmetto have been known and well known by humanity for centuries.

Among all its wellness uses— past and present— here are 6 benefits of saw palmetto that stand out and have withstood the test of time.

1. Saw palmetto helps support benign prostate enlargement (BPH).

This herb has become one of the most common supplements you can find at stores. This is mostly because of how well it supports prostate health, and particularly prostate enlargement.

Saw palmetto is also shown to support prostate health in all sorts of ways, including reducing men’s risk of prostate cancers, too.

2. Saw palmetto can improve kidney and urinary health.

Besides prostate benefits, the plant’s oldest and most longstanding use is for supporting urinary and kidney health in men and women.

Native tribes who first used it long ago— as well as natural health practitioners and scientists alike— have each found the berries of saw palmetto to be diuretic. This means saw palmetto can help cleanse and strengthen the urinary system, not unlike cranberry juice.

3. Saw palmetto can balance hormone health (in both men and women).

Saw palmetto is a unique plant full of impressive health-changing phytochemicals. These plant compounds have shown the special ability of influencing hormones in both men and women, and can have very desired, beneficial, and therapeutic purposes!

Some of these compounds include sitosterols and 5-alpha-reductase, natural saw palmetto phytochemicals and enzymes known to help the human body convert certain hormones into other types, thus creating more balance.

These can, for example, be beneficial to men who need help boosting testosterone (though it cannot boost testosterone directly). They may also support women to boost estrogen or even lower certain testosterone levels, such as in women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

4. Saw palmetto may reduce inflammation.

Like many other herbs and whole plant foods, saw palmetto contains antioxidants: natural plant compounds that reduce inflammation and fight free radicals.

Taking a saw palmetto supplement could help reduce issues with inflammation: such as arthritis, digestive disorders, skin inflammation issues, and more, when taken daily and on the regular— though it’s not known to cure any inflammation-related condition.

5. Saw palmetto could potentially reduce hair loss.

In men (and some women), hair loss can be related to hormone levels, especially testosterone. Saw palmetto has been known to support the body’s conversion of certain types of testosterone to others that reduce the occurrence of hair loss.

It’s also known to block hair loss-causing hormones too, such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

6. Saw palmetto could boost respiratory health.

Along with its storied history as a kidney and urinary remedy, saw palmetto was often used in folk medicine for treating respiratory illnesses. These include coughs, colds, asthma, and more.

This may have to do with its anti-inflammatory properties! With so many benefits for different aspects of health, saw palmetto remains one of the most widely supported natural supplements even in the medical community.

Some doctors will enthusiastically recommend saw palmetto for prostate health. Talk to yours today— and experience its benefits for yourself!