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Anyone on Saw Palmetto extract?

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Hi girls (and boys) smile.gif!

I'm a 25 years old white girl, and I've been dealing with acne since I was 13, I guess. I have tried all possible sorts of treatments, and now I have really mild acne, but very very stubborn (besides that, my skin is also hypersensitive and gets very easily dehydrated, although it's really oily in my T-zone - it seems like I have it all sad.gif... ). I'm pretty sure it's hormonal acne ( I have hormone imbalance and thyroid problems as well), so 3 weeks ago I started a Saw Palmetto treatment (5-600 mg/day), as I was tired of all these harsh topicals that irritate my skin like crazy!

I'm not having any problems with this treatment, but it seems like I'm not having any results either. I'm thinking that maybe it's too early to see an improvement, but I was also thinking to add Spironolactone to the regimen (100 mg/day). Anyway, I got a bit scared after reading the thread on Spiro, where I saw that some girls had huge breakouts because of it... I'm a little puzzled right now...

I was also wondering if I take my Saw Palmetto pills correctly - I take the 2 of them after breakfast, but not every day at the same hour (in fact, I rarely take them at the same time every day, as I have a messed up shedule). Should I take them at the exact same time every day rolleyes.gif ?

If anyone else is on the Saw Palmetto tratment, please tell me if you've had results with it or not! And if you've had results, after how long and how good? Many thanks in advance eusa_angel.gif !

P.S.: as for my topical products, I now use only very gentle products (a cleansing lotion for sensitive skin that I don't have to rinse off with water - my skin can't tolerate tap water, and a hydrating cream called Ictyane) because my skin is really irritated by the cold winter.

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BTW, as someone else on the board said, it's really difficult to deal with acne when you have to go out there and look for a job or once you've got a demanding job. I mean, it's always difficult to deal with acne, but when you are entering in a really professional environment, and you are supposed to be faultless all the time, it's very hard to be self-confident and assertive. And now that I have an important position in a PR firm (this was my first day on this new job), it's difficult for me to face the other colleagues, and especially our clients and the journalists (and tomorrow I have several meetings with them... I hope my face won't be so red and irritated, and with those really annoying small zits!).

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Nobody on Saw Palmetto?!

As for myself, not much change since the last posts. I have few small pimples and 2-3 red marks I'm trying to get rid off.

Maybe I will add Spironolactone to this treatment, and I also want to buy Clarins' Lotus Oil (it seems to be very efficient and gentle) as nigth treatment and Lush's Enzymion cream as day treatment - it's a natural matifying cream, apparently it does a very good job and smells very good (exotic fruit smell yummy smile.gif).

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I'm saw palmetto and I am seeing improvement. It's taken me about two months for me to see any kind of result though, so be patience. It will help, it just takes time. For me, it was better than having to go back to birth control pills to control hormonal breakouts.


Regimen for the last six months.

Desert Essence Wash w/Tea Tree Oil (morning/night)

Tazorac .05 (night)

Keflex Antibotic


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Hi, Danielle, I'm so glad you've replied to me! I was loosing any hope that someone would answer me...

I feel encouraged after your message, now that I know it will help, but only in time. I just finished my first month of Saw Palmetto treatment, and I've ran out of pills, so I'll have to buy them tomorrow (I have already missed 2-3 days of treatment).

I don't want to go back to birth control pills, in fact they never did anything for me (and I've been on Diane 35 + Androcur, which are strong treatments, for one year), except for making my skin very fragile and making me put on serious weight sad.gif.

So I'll stick to the Saw Palmetto treatment, and maybe add vitamin B6 (it is supposed to control male hormones as well) and Spiro. I will also buy the topical products I've already spoke about (Lotus Oil and Enzymion).

Anyway, what kind of results do you see? Are you clear, almost clear, how is your skin now and what kind of acne did you have (if you do want to tell me, of course)?

Thank you very much for your reply smile.gif and keep me in touch! I will also post my results as I see them (soon, hopefully).

Byeee!

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redface.gif Saw Palmetto is for males! for females, take Vitex (Chaste Tree).


"Do you know that place between asleep and awake? That place where you remember dreaming? That's where I'll always wait for you...that's where I'll always love you."


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Hi, girls!

I know Saw Palmetto is used against prostatis - it's effective because it blocks the DHT (dehydrotestosterone - the active form of testosterone) synthesis.

Since the DHT is what causes acne, no DHT==>no acne.

Anyway, the Saw Palmetto extract doesn't have any (known) side effects, and it has been used for a long time.

I would also take Vitex, but I can't find it, whereas Saw Palmetto is in every pharmacy and health store.

But, thanks for your concern, girls smile.gif! And good luck!

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Look, here's an article I found on the Internet about the use of Saw Palmetto extract in women:

Saw Palmetto

Women

Topical saw palmetto has also been used successfully in women for hair loss (androgenic alopecia) due to high levels of male hormone testosterone (4).

Actually the active agent in causing adrogenic hair loss (balding of the head), acne and even excess body hair is a chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is formed in the skin by the conversion of testosterone to DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. Saw palmetto is known to block 5-alpha reductase as its mechanism to reduce prostatic hypertrophy and androgenic alopecia. To our knowledge it has not been tested as an active agent against acne or excess hair growth (hirsutism) in women either by applying the oil topically (breaking open the capsules) or taking the capsules by mouth. However in theory, by being an effective 5-alpha reductase blocker, it should have a positive effect on both acne and excess hair growth.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto (also know as sabal palmetto) is a reddish brown-to-black berry growing on a 6'-8" palm tree (Serenoa repens). The fruit of this palm have been part of the diet of natives of the southeastern U.S. for hundreds of years.

It is widely used for the treatment of enlarged prostate glands in men. It is thought that prostate glands become enlarged primarily because of a metabolite of testosterone, called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) also tend to have higher levels of testosterone and DHT than other women. Therefore, what works for men may work for women.

Saw Palmetto Extract for Hirsutism

How does it work in women?

One of the most troubling symptoms of women with PCOS is hirsutism (too much hair, in the wrong places). Hirsutism is thought to be mostly due to excessive levels of androgenic hormones. Examples of androgens are testosterone, androstenedione, and DHEA.

Testosterone is the main androgen we’re concerned about. It’s normal for men to have a lot of testosterone and for women to have some. In both men and women, testosterone is converted into a more potent hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the hormone in your skin that stimulates hirsutism, which is male pattern hair growth. If you can reduce DHT, you may be able to reduce hirsutism (hair growing where you don't want it) or male pattern hair loss (restoring hair where you do want it).

Saw palmetto appears to reduce DHT in three different ways:

Inhibits DHT production;

Inhibits the binding of DHT to its cell receptors;

Promotes the breakdown of DHT.

Testosterone is converted into DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. 5-alpha-reductase is inhibited by saw palmetto, and thus less DHT is produced and hirsutism may be reduced.

Saw palmetto may be helpful in another way. A high level of estrogen may inhibit the elimination of DHT. Some women with PCOS have estrogen levels that are too high. It is reported to have an anti-estrogenic effect, thus helping with the removal of DHT.

There have been many studies of men with testosterone disorders that demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of saw palmetto. There aren’t yet any studies of hirsute PCOS women. However, naturopathic physicians using these herbs for PCOS are seeing consistently favorable results.

Saw palmetto may help with the following PCOS symptoms:

Hirsutism (too much hair in the wrong places)

Male pattern baldness or hair loss.

Is It Similar to Anti-Androgenic Drugs?

Two drugs commonly prescribed for PCOS women are spironolactone (Aldactone), and finasteride (Propecia, Proscar).

Spironolactone is a diuretic that blocks two pathways to the production of androgens, or male hormones. One of those pathways is inhibition of 5-alpha-reductase. Spironolactone may cause irregular bleeding in some women, as well as nausea, indigestion or fatigue.

Propecia and Proscar inhibit 5-alpha-reductase and are used mostly for male pattern baldness and men with enlarged prostate glands.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a review of studies that concluded saw palmetto was as effective as finasteride in the treatment of enlarged prostates.

Two advantages of saw palmetto are:

(1) it is free of side effects, and

(2) it is less expensive than the drugs mentioned above.

Saw Palmetto Side Effects and Precautions

No significant side effects have been noted in clinical trials with this herbal extract, except for rare headache or stomach upset if taken on an empty stomach.

Because of possible hormonal activity, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Palmetto berry constituents have alpha-adrenergic blocking activity that may alter the effects of these medications: prazosin, terazosin, doxazosin mesylate, tamsulosin

It may have an additive effect if taken with anti-androgen drugs that reduce the levels of male sex hormones, such as finasteride (Prosca, Propecia) or flutamide (Eulexin).

In theory, it could interfere with birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy in women.

If you're taking any of these drugs, check with your doctor or naturopathic physician before taking saw palmetto.

Because it may have activity on the body's response to estrogen, the effects of other agents believed to have estrogen-like properties may be altered. Possible examples include alfalfa, black cohosh, bloodroot, burdock, hops, kudzu, licorice, pomegranate, red clover, soy, thyme, white horehound, and yucca.

How Much Should You Take?

Every women is unique, so the amount and form of saw palmetto you need won't be the same as for someone else.

As a general guideline, a common dose for men is 320 mg. of extract per day, standardized to at least 85-95% fatty acids with a guaranteed minimum of 0.2-0.4% sterols. ("Standardized" means you get the same amount of active ingredients every time). You may decide to start with a somewhat lower dose.

In men, it can be taken for six weeks before any effect is noticed. If improvement is noted, it is recommended that men take it continuously. Since you're trying to reduce DHT like the men are, you could do the same.

Vitex and Saw Palmetto Dose

A number of herbal products and nutritional supplements work synergistically to modify your hormonal profile. A few examples include vitex (chasteberry), saw palmetto, and stinging nettles (pygeum). You may wish to combine saw palmetto extract and stinging nettle root for a greater effect. You may also wish to add vitex. As you can imagine, your supplement program can get complicated.

Therefore, we recommend you seek guidance from a naturopathic physician, who would have extensive knowledge of herbs and botanical medicines. Or, consult with Dr. Nancy Dunne, who is a naturopathic physician specializing in the treatment of PCOS.

WARNING: Thee quality of botanical supplements varies widely. Don't buy any herbal or botanical product unless it has a "standardized" amount of the active component listed on the label. A "standardized" product has a consistent amount of active ingredients from one bottle to the next. If you buy a product that is not standardized, you have no clue as to what you are actually getting and may be wasting your money.

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Vitex and Saw Palmetto Dose

A number of herbal products and nutritional supplements work synergistically to modify your hormonal profile. A few examples include vitex (chasteberry), saw palmetto, and stinging nettles (pygeum). You may wish to combine saw palmetto extract and stinging nettle root for a greater effect. You may also wish to add vitex. As you can imagine, your supplement program can get complicated.


"Do you know that place between asleep and awake? That place where you remember dreaming? That's where I'll always wait for you...that's where I'll always love you."


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Hi, Sway smile.gif! I don't think Saw Palmetto could hurt your regimen, on the contrary, in my opinion it could only improve it.

I would like to use Saw Palmetto+Vitex, but I can't find Vitex so I'm using only Saw Palmetto. I haven't noticed any side effects, as for the results, I'm still waiting - apparently it takes 6-8 weeks to see some improvement. I have just started my 5th week, I'm optimistic...

Good luck smile.gif!

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BTW, Sway, what is your daily dosage for Vitex? I just found a herbal supplement that has 80 mg of Vitex/pill, I don't know if that's good or too little...

Have a great week!

Livia

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BTW, Sway, what is your daily dosage for Vitex? I just found a herbal supplement that has 80 mg of Vitex/pill, I don't know if that's good or too little...

Have a great week!

Livia


"Do you know that place between asleep and awake? That place where you remember dreaming? That's where I'll always wait for you...that's where I'll always love you."


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The thing about herbs in capsule form is that they've had to be POWDERED to be put in capsule form. Herbs are delicate, so the more processing, the more they lose their potency. I think it's better to take them as a tincture or a tea, depending on the herb. Saw palmetto tea doesn't taste very good. It's not horrible, but not very enjoyable, so tincture might be the best way to go. Just my opinion.


My regimen:

Eat regularly: a wide variety of vegetables, eggs, meat/fish, cheese, yogurt, butter, fruit, nuts/seeds.

Occasionally eat: beans, squash, potatoes.

Don't eat: sugar, grains, most processed food.


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Its actually the hormone Androgen that primarily makes us breakout.


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I now use only very gentle products (a cleansing lotion for sensitive skin that I don't have to rinse off with water - my skin can't tolerate tap water

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Hello:

I use saw palmetto in conjunction with Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbs. I have studied Chinese herbs/acupuncture exclusively for four years (two months in China) and Saw Palmetto was brought to my attention by an excellent instructor from China.

I experimented with it on myself, as I experienced a drastic influx in facial hair all at once at the age of 38. (I am female)

Western medicine doctor said it was early menopause. In TCM we don't believe that. Symptoms are treated accordingly.

I requested the blood work and told him I believed I had elavated testosterone levels.

He disagreed, but did agree to the blood work.

It came back very high but still within the normal range. He suggested HRT in the form of horse urine extract.

At 38 I refused this, but remembered that high testosterone in males and females according to TCM is considered a yin deficiency.

I started on the saw palmetto for one simple reason; the side effect in males taking it for prostatitis is enlarged breasts. The symptoms I was experiencing from the yin deficiencey/elevated testosterone was a shrinking of the breasts - common in menopause.

I used a high quality tincture from a reputable western herbalist. I did end up increasing the dosage to 45 drops 3times per day.

The results were excellent. My breasts became normal again as did other TCM symptoms relating to yin deficiency. It only took about 3 bottles total. (I think - it was years ago now)

Of course I used many TCM herbs as well, mostly to nourish the yin, given my symptoms.

I now use saw palmetto in the form of tinctures for prostatitis, menopause, and other gynecological problems with a yin defiency as the root cause.

A thorough diagnosis is needed. Acne can be caused by many different patterns according to TCM. It can also take up to 8 months to get balanced.

Greasy and spicy foods are very bad for acne caused by damp-heat.

Acne from a hormonal imbalance could be helped with saw palmetto, but hormone levels should be checked. As per the other excellent article on saw palmetto posted on this site, testosterone should be elevated, as it was for me. (My face did clear up, by the way, and I now do the odd bottle here and there, maybe 1 -2 times per year depending on my TCM diagnosis and if I am yin deficient.)

I can not comment on Naturopathic Doctors as I am unsure of what they study. I do know that they do one year of training (in Canada) in TCM compared to a TCM doctor who does four years in the one discipline.

The main thing is to get results and be comfortable with the diagnosis. It should make sense to you, but could take a while, no matter who treats you.

THe advantage of raw chinese herbs is that the formula can be adjusted as symptoms change. This is very important while trying to achieve balance in the zang (solid) organs.

Good luck!

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bump!

I'm taking saw palmetto 500mg standardized, I'm going to try it for atleast 4 months, so it has time to adjust to my body.

Anyone else on SP?

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I just started Saw Palmetto yesterday (7-28-2013)

I've had acne on and off since a young teenager but it had cleared up over the years. I decided to get on birth control in 2011 (age 21) and was on it for a year..i decided to get off of it due to other side effects it was giving me and OMG my face has gone crazy. Now its been almost 7 months ive been OFF of the BC and my face is just getting worse and worse. I feel like im going thru puberty again. So I started taking tons of vitamins (zinc, vitamin a, fish oil pills, multivitamin, b5) and now I just added Saw palmetto. I was taking all the vitamins for about 2 months and I was slowly seeing some results but I stopped for about a week and half to do a liver flush (fail) then started all my vitamins back up yesterday (7-28-2013). Im determined to clear my acne myself...naturally..without having to go get a prescription. Im pretty sure its hormonal or just my body being out of wack from the birth control. I KNOW ITS RELATED FROM GETTING OFF THE BIRTH CONTROL and dr's ive seen keep telling me its not. Im really fed up with them. So lets hope this works and I'll keep u posted with my results.

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