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Saw Palmetto Monograph

Serenoa repens

Common names:
Saw Palmetto, Sabal

Family: Arecaceae (formerly Palmaceae)

Plant Parts Used: Ripe berries (fruit)

Description & Habitat:
Small palm tree that grows 1-4 metres high.  It’s berries are black, fleshy, growing in clusters each with 1 large wrinkled oblong seed approximately 1 - 2.5cm.  Native to the West Indies, West Coast of the United States (South Carolina to Florida), growing in sunny savannas and thickets in moist rich soils.  It is known to grown in parts of Australia but not in New Zealand.

Main Active Constituents:

1. fixed oil - (palmetto oil) - composed of 25% fatty acids including lauric, caproic, palmitic and 75% neutral fats
2. volatile Oil
3. sterols - beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol
4. resins
5. tannins
6. polysaccharides - stimulate immune system

Nutritional Constituents:

Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, C
Minerals: Potassium, Selenium, Silica, Phosphorus, Zinc, Chromium, Sodium and Calcium

Main Actions:

1. Diuretic
2. Urinary Antiseptic
3. Endocrine Agent
4. Anti-septic
5. Immunostimulant
6. Anti-inflammatory
7. Male Tonic (bladder & prostate)
8. Anti-prostatic
9. Anti-spasmodic
10. Anti-androgenic

Medicinal Uses/Applications:

Serenoa has been used mainly in the Urinary/Reproductive System.  Clinically proven to benefit prostatic enlargement.  Its lipid soluble constituent inhibits the binding of androgen and oestrogen to receptors in the male reproductive tract and may also diminish the levels of hormone active in stimulating all growth in the prostate, but does not appear to change in the serum levels of testosterone contributing to this activity.  This fraction is also immuno-stimulatory and anti-oedema.  It is also a tonic for the neck of the bladder and with its actions above makes it well suited for treating the following:

Genitourinary/Reproductive System
• cystitis
• prostatic enlargement (BHP specific)
• prostatitis of any origin
• dysuria
• impotence
• catarrh of genito-urinary tract
• urethritis
• testicular atrophy
• infertility male & female
• sex hormone disorders
• prostate cancer

Respiratory System
• influenza virus
• asthma
• mucous & lung conditions

Other Areas
• stimulates the appetite and can help people to regain weight (if underweight)
• treats acne
• hirsutism

Dosage (3 x daily):
Decoction: 0.5 - 1gm

Possible interaction with concurrent use of Warfarin.
No known contraindications.
Compatible with pregnancy.
Compatible with breastfeeding.

Naturalus Products with Serenoa repens:

Saw Palmetto Tea
Prostate Tea
Libido Tea

History & Folklore:
Historically a tonic and nutritional agent; used to increase sexual function in men; improve mammary gland disorders; as an aphrodisiac; relieve chronic catarrh; as a mucous membrane tonic; treat chronic and subacute cystitis.  It has a marked effect upon all glandular tissues, increasing flesh rapidly, and building up strength.  Traditionally a staple food item for the Seminole Indians, kept dried as a year round food source.  AS well as the indications above it was used for female health conditions such as under developed breasts; increased lactation; painful menstruation; appetite stimulant and as an expectorant for the lungs.  In 1907 the early American settlers used to feed it to their horses and mules that had urinary problems.  It was also included in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia in 1908.  After World War I it was considered one of the most important natural remedies in Southern America.  Word of its benefits led to French Researchers (1960’s) making a synthetic version called Permixon which became available in 1981.

Research Links:


Fennel Seed Monograph

Foeniculum vulgare

Common names:
Fennel, Bitter Fennel, Sweet Fennel, Marathos

Family: Apiaceae (formerly Umbeliferae)

Plant Parts Used: Fruit (Seeds)

Description & Habitat:
Native to Europe & the Mediterranean.  Grows freely in New Zealand, well established along river beds, railways & wastelands.  Self sows easily, loves an open sunny situation.  Grows up to 1.5 metres high.  Leaves are dark green and divided into thread like lobes.  Umbels of yellow flowers 5-8cm across.  Flowers are 2mm across.  Fruit/Seed ovoid 4-6mm long with distinct ribs.

Main Active Constituents:

1. volatile oil - anethole, fenchone, limonene, camphene, phellandrene, pinene, estragole, cymene, myrcene, sabinene, terpinene, terpinolene.
2. flavonoids - rutin, quercetin, kaempferol
3. coumarins, bergapten
4. fixed oil - petroselenic acid, oleic acid & linoleic acid
5. tannins
6. resins
7. sterols
8. protein (up to 20%)

Nutritional Constituents:

Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C
Minerals: Potassium, Sulphur, Sodium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus & Zinc

Main Actions:

1. Anti-inflammatory
2. Carminative
3. Diuretic
4. Galactagogue
5. Orexigenic
6. Anti-spasmodic
7. Expectorant
8. Anti-microbial
9. Mildly oestrogenic

Medicinal Uses/Applications:

Gastrointestinal Tract
Fennels main area of use, helping with the following:
• colic (babies)
• flatulence
• intestinal cramps
• hiccoughs
• flatulent dyspepsia
• indigestion
• anorexia
• bloating

Respiratory Tract
• coughs
• bronchitis

Urinary Tract
• cystitis

Reproductive System
• breast milk production

Eyewash used for:
• blepharitis
• conjunctivits

• pharyngitis

Dosage (3 x daily):
Decoction: 0.9 - 2gms

Contraindicated if you have a known sensitivity/allergy.
No known drug interactions.
Do not use during pregnancy.
Compatible with breastfeeding - used to enhance lactation.

Naturalus Products with Foeniculum vulgare:

History & Folklore:
Historically used to treat epilepsy, counter poison & venom, relieve headaches (in the form of snuff) and as a breath freshener (when chewed).  Used as a diuretic; urinary stones; nausea; opening obstructions of the liver, spleen, gall bladder; jaundice; gout; dyspnoea; wheezing; aid in menstruation and delivery of placenta; make fat people lean; for longevity & to deter fleas.  

Folklore has fennel as a magical herb, a sure defence against evil.  In Greek Mythology, Prometheus concealed the fire of the sun in a hollow fennel stalk and brought it down to earth from heaven for the human race.  The Greek name for fennel is marathon or marathos, and the place of the famous battle of Marathon and the subsequent sports event Marathon, literally means a plain with fennels.

Research Links:



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Naturalus has been making and selling natural products here in Christchurch
New Zealand since 2008. Being a Clinical Medical Herbalist, Tanya has an understanding of how natural ingredients work on the body and how to combine them to give the most benefit. Also over the years more pure essential oils have been sourced and added. To compliment that there is a great range of Ultrasonic Oil Diffusers, being one the first in NZ to have them. There are plenty of other products to check out and if you want to read some feedback its’s here: Feedback.
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