Other Names: Windmill Palm, Saw-Tooth Palm, Tala, Taalachoba, Old Man’s Friend, American Dwarf Palm Tree, Baies du Palmier Scie, Ju-Zhong, Palmier Nain & Sabal.
Description: Saw palmetto is an evergreen member of the Arecaceae (palm) family, native to North America which can also be found growing in the Caribbean. This small palm tree can reach a height of up to 6 metres. The leaves have a bare stalk terminating in a rounded ‘fan’ of about 20 leaflets, the leaf stalk and edges of the leaves have sharp ‘saw’ like spiny teeth which gives rise to the ‘saw’ part of the name, they are light-green in colour. The individual flowers are approximately 5mm in diameter, and form dense, compound panicles of up to 50-60cm in length. The fruit is a large reddish-black drupe (berry) approximately 2.5cm in diameter.
Brief History: Native American Indians used saw palmetto berries and as a medicine for centuries before they were introduced to Europe. The herb has wavered in and out of use, in the early 20th century it was included in the Pharmacopeia of America, having been a popular remedy used by the 19th century Eclectic physicians to treat urinary problems.
A decoction of the powder can be added to lotions and creams for the skin and can also be used as a wash for minor wounds and abrasions. No other non-medicinal uses are known for this herb.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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