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Since May 10th 2008


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Sambucus nigra

Serenoa repens
Silybum marianum
Syzygium aromaticum
Schisandra chinensis
Scutellaria baicalensis
Sonchus arvensis


 

 

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Serenoa repens (Bartr.) Small. (Arecaceae)

Synonyms
Brahea serrulata (Michx.) H. Wendl., Chamaerops serrulata Michx., Corypha repens Bartr., Sabal serrulata (Michx.) Nichols, Sabal serrulata (Michx.) Nuttall. ex Schult., Serenoa serrulata Hook., Serenoa serrulata Roem. et Schult., Serenoa serrulatum (Michx.) Benth et Hook, Serenoa serrulatum Schult.

Local names
American dwarf palm tree, dwarf palm tree, dwarf palmetto, fan palm, sabal, sabal fructus, Sägepalmenfrüchte, saw palmetto, saw palmetto berries, serenoa

Description
Low scrubby palm growing in sandy soil, with characteristic creeping rhizome, one end of which rises a short distance above ground, surrounded by a dense crown of leaves with saw-like margins. Petioles slender and spinose on edges; blade fan-shaped, with palmate divisions that are slightly cleft at the summit. Inflorescence densely tomentose and shorter than the leaves. Fruit a 1-seeded drupe

Plant material used
dried ripe fruits

Chemical assays
Quantitation of fatty acids, both free and as their corresponding ethyl esters, by gas chromatography. The total fatty acid content is not less than 9.0%, and the amounts of individual fatty acids are not less than 3.0% oleic, 2.0% lauric, 1.2% myristic, 1.1% palmitic, 0.4% linoleic, 0.2% caphoic, 0.2% caprylic, 0.2% capric, 0.1% palmitoleic, 0.1% stearic and 0.1% linolenic acids

Major chemical constituents
The major constituents are free fatty acids and their corresponding ethyl esters; sterols and lipids. The primary fatty acid constituents include oleic, lauric, myristic, palmitic, linoleic, caphoic, caprylic, capric, palmitoleic, stearic and linolenic acids. The major sterols include b-sitosterol, stigmasterol and daucosterol. The lipids consist of triglycerides of fatty acids. The structures of some of the free fatty acids are presented below

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
Treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (nocturia, polyuria, urinary retention) secondary to BPH stages I and II, as defined by Alken, in cases where diagnosis of prostate cancer is negative.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
As a diuretic and to treat an enlarged prostate.

Uses described in traditional medicine
As an aphrodisiac, a sedative and a nutritional tonic, as well as for the treatment of bronchitis, cystitis, dysmenorrhoea, sore throat and the common cold

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Antispasmodic, Anti-inflammatory, Immunostimulatory, Anti-gonadotropic

Human studies
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia

Toxicity
Clinical studies have shown that extracts of Fructus Serenoae Repentis are very well tolerated in humans. Minor gastrointestinal side-effects have been reported in most of the clinical trials, but results from standard blood chemistry tests were normal

Contraindications
Owing to its effects on androgen and estrogen metabolism, the use of Fructus Serenoae Repentis during pregnancy or lactation and in children under the age of 12 years is contraindicated.

Warnings
Fructus Serenoae Repentis relieves the symptoms associated with BPH, but does not have an effect on the size of the prostate. If symptoms worsen or do not improve, or in cases of blood in the urine or acute urinary retention, contact a physician.

Precautions
Pregnancy: teratogenic effects
See Contraindications. There is no therapeutic rationale for the use of Fructus Serenoae Repentis during pregnancy.

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
See Contraindications. There is no therapeutic rationale for the use of Fructus Serenoae Repentis during pregnancy.

Nursing mothers
See Contraindications. There is no therapeutic rationale for the use of Fructus Serenoae Repentis during lactation.

Paediatric use
See Contraindications.

Other precautions
No information available on general precautions or precautions concerning drug interactions; drug and laboratory test interactions; or carcinogenesis, mutagenesis and impairment of fertility.

Adverse reactions
Both short- and long-term clinical studies have found that extracts of Fructus Serenoae Repentis are very well tolerated. Occasional nausea, diarrhoea and other minor gastrointestinal complaints have been reported.

Dosage forms
Crude drug, lipidosterolic extracts (n-hexane, 90% ethanol or fluid [carbon dioxide] supercritical extracts standardized to contain 70–95% free fatty acids and corresponding ethyl esters), and preparations thereof. Store in a tightly closed container in a cool, dry place.

Posology
(Unless otherwise indicated)
Daily dosage: 1–2 g crude drug or 320 mg (as a single dose or 160mg twice daily) of a lipidosterolic extract (n-hexane, 90% ethanol or supercriticalfluid [carbon dioxide] extract standardized to contain between 70 and 95% free fatty acids and corresponding ethyl esters) or equivalent preparations

 

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