Effectiveness of Saw Palmetto for Acne – Scientific Report

by on September 8th, 2010
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Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that affects men and women. Acne occurs when your pores become clogged, and while the severity of symptoms can vary, typically the signs include whiteheads, inflamed growth and blackheads. Although acne treatments typically consist of applying topical medications directly to the skin, if you are interested in taking control of your skin problems without using synthetic chemicals then you may be interested in using saw palmetto.

Saw Palmetto:

Saw palmetto is better known for its ability to help treat BPH in men; however, the primary active constituents within saw palmetto may also help reduce the severity of acne. According to the University of Maryland Medical center the primary constituents of this herb include plant sterols, fatty acids and flavonoids.

Saw palmetto contains a high concentration of polysaccharides, which are used by the human body to enhance the immune system as well as work as an anti-inflammatory. One of the primary benefits of saw palmetto is its ability to hinder the transformation of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, which is also known as DHT.

Effectiveness on Acne:

While the studies regarding saw palmetto and acne are limited, several studies have found that the oral consumption of saw palmetto may help reduce the severity of hormone-driven acne in women and men.

According to the Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines and Catalina Lifesciences, researchers have found that when testosterone undergoes the conversion process to DHT, the shifting in hormone levels can result in acne in both men and women. This conversion can also cause baldness and prostate enlargement in men.

The cause of an increase in pimples is due to the overproduction of sebum within your oil glands. This overproduction clogs your pores, which results in inflammation and pimples.

Although initial research of saw palmetto for the treatment of acne is promising, Dr. Richard Fried writes in the report “Saw Palmetto as a Treatment for Acne” that the effectiveness of saw palmetto for acne treatment will vary from person to person.


Although the scientific community has not released an official dosage of saw palmetto for the treatment of acne, the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests users consume 160 mg of saw palmetto two times per day. Make sure that the supplement is comprised of a minimum of 85 percent fatty acids and plant sterols.

References Used:


PubMed Health: Acne


Bottom Line Secrets: Saw Palmetto as a Treatment for Acne


University of Maryland Medical Center: Saw Palmetto

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