As a small palm, saw palmetto only reaches a maximum height of 6 feet. It grows with a sprawling trunk, or in dense clumps along sandy coastal areas. This plant lives for a long time, and is very slow growing. The leaves look like a fan, with about 20 leaflets each. These leaves have small spines or teeth that can cut the skin, so be cautious and use gloves when touching the plant.
Its flowers are yellowish-white in color, and its fruit is reddish-black. Most of the medicinal benefits are gained from its fruit. Other common names include palmetto, dwarf palm tree, and sabal serrulatum.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Anti-inflammatory, diuretic, expectorant, digestive, nervine, aphrodisiac, antiseptic, tonic. Treats reproductive conditions in men and women. Soothes the digestive tract, boosts appetite, and increases nutrient assimilation. Heals benign prostatic hyperplasia and respiratory conditions including chronic cough, bronchitis, asthma, laryngitis, and whooping cough.
For all conditions, boil 1 tablespoon dried saw palmetto berries, 1 teaspoon maca powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Optionally, you may wish to add ginger and honey. Strain, and drink warm. For reproductive and bladder problems, eat the fruit. For energy, juice the fruit, and consume 2 ounces per day before breakfast.