There is currently no standard dose for saw palmetto. In clinical studies conducted on the safety and effectiveness of the supplement for enlarged prostate treatment, researchers often used either 160 mg twice daily or 320 mg once daily. There is not enough information available to recommend a safe and effective dosage for women or for conditions other than enlarged prostate.
An Introduction to Dosing With Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is an herbal supplement. It is important to note that unlike medications, for which the standard doses have been well established in carefully designed studies, less information is available for determining the best dose for herbal supplements, including saw palmetto.
What Is a Reasonable Saw Palmetto Dosage?
With prescription and nonprescription medications, researchers establish the most effective and safe doses in special studies, known as dose-range studies. These are done early in the development of medications, long before they are ever approved.
However, because herbal supplements do not need to be approved, dose-range studies are rarely performed. Without such studies, only vague "trial-and-error" information is available.
Some information about saw palmetto dosing can be obtained from clinical studies and from practical experience with the supplement. Studies of saw palmetto for an enlarged prostate frequently use doses of either 160 mg twice daily or 320 mg once daily, using a saw palmetto product standardized to 80 to 90 percent fatty acids.
Such products are often called "standardized" saw palmetto extracts. Nonstandardized products may contain much less of the fatty acids, even though they may contain the same amount of saw palmetto overall. However, this is a problem, since it is thought that the fatty acids contain the active components of saw palmetto.
There is not enough information available to recommend a safe and effective dose of saw palmetto for any other condition other than for an enlarged prostate. Also, a safe and effective dose has not been determined for use in women.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed January 4, 2008.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: saw palmetto (May 2006). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/palmetto/. Accessed January 4, 2008.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click