Curb anxiety, irritability, and low energy with this amazing herb — Saw Palmetto

I wasn’t setting out to find motivation to tackle projects I’d been putting off for years….

or to stop the endless unproductive chatter in my brain…

and I certainly wasn’t looking to find a way to make the husbands of so many friends happier…

and yet, it happened.

And now, as I sit to write this article, I’m hoping to find adequate words to do justice to the unexpected life changes I’ve witnessed from this one remarkable herb, Saw Palmetto.

If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the following:

  • lack of motivation / apathy
  • anxiety / worry
  • low tolerance / quick temper
  • anger / rage / aggression
  • negative attitude / pessimism
  • low energy
  • mild depression
  • obsessive thoughts
  • irritability / oversensitivity
  • difficulty regulating emotions
  • other similar mood issues

This herb may quite possibly also become the solution you won’t believe you found.

My {Short} Story

I began using herbs that reduce androgens to stop hormonal skin blemishes last year. They helped so miraculously that I recently wrote an article about them: 3 Herbs that cleared my skin completely when nothing else worked.

After sharing it, something unexpected happened. People started noticing that when taking Saw Palmetto, the same day they had an improved mood, better tolerance and greater motivation levels!

Because I’d been taking it at bedtime, nearly a year had gone by and I never realized it could have those effects. Not wanting to be left behind, I began taking it first thing in the morning and again in the afternoon.  That very same day, I realized they were right!

Suddenly, I felt motivation and energy I hadn’t experienced in a decade. Even more surprisingly, the constant stream of low grade worry / anxiety that had worn a permanent running track in my mind were suddenly gone. Vanished!

Curious, I found I couldn’t even force myself to worry about the same topics that I lost sleep over just a day earlier. Now, they felt trivial and I wondered why was I even dwelling on them at all.

What’s more, nothing bothered me like it did before. Things that used to irritate me, no longer caused a second glance and I sailed right through the usual 3-4 pm afternoon slump with plenty of energy.

How could this be?

And how could I get a patent on this plant?!!

Saw Palmetto 

The herb is no secret. The number of men and women taking saw palmetto to reduce androgens and help with conditions such as acne, prostrate issues, hair loss, inflammation, PCOS, and more have made it the #3 top selling herb in America. [R]

Bewilderingly however, none of the articles I read focused on any of the mental health benefits.

Again I found myself asking, How could this be?

In this first of it’s kind article, I’m going to share the scientific reasons why this herb can so significantly relieve stress, anxiety, irritability, and frustration while increasing people’s satisfaction with life, improving marriages and so much more.

Before we dive into the brain science, I’d like to share a few quotes from people in our group who’ve been using it:

I gave to my husband and WOW! His anxiety, his snide remarks, his impatience — improved –vastly improved overnight.

I’ve been taking it for a week now and find myself more relaxed, happier and able to let things go.

If anyone has a depressed, grumpy, complaining, short-fused spouse (or self), I cannot urge you enough to consider this supplement. It’s changing our lives!!!!

I ordered some and surprisingly it gave me energy and mental clarity right from the get go. I was very surprised because I’ve had zero energy for months and tried all sorts of things without result! 

So far it makes me a much nicer person, less b**chy and edgy.

My husband and I haven’t argued in a week, and that’s a record… I was just telling him that I like him almost as much as when we first met.

I will never be without this stuff!!

So let’s get started…

Androgens and mood, an undeniable link

Many scientific studies have linked high levels of androgens / testosterone to negative mood issues.

  • There is an increased incidence of depression in women correlating with circulating active testosterone levels. [R]
  • Androgen levels are significantly correlated to aggressive behavior in men. [R]
  • Testosterone modulates serotonin receptor activity in the central nervous system to directly increase fear, anxiety, aggression and impulsive behavior. [R]
  • Androgen excess may underpin the risk of developing anxiety disorders. [R]
  • High androgen levels are a major cause of depression. Also, elevated androgen values before and after delivery of a baby might be responsible for the “baby blues.” [R]
  • Mood issues in pubertal girls correlated strongly with an increase in androgen levels, indicating they may be responsible for emotional ups and downs of growing up more than environmental factors. [R]


From the above studies, and others linked below, it became clear that…

ELEVATED androgens are associated with 3 Critical Conditions:

1. Excessive Amygdala activity

The amygdala is the part of the brain that controls our fear of things outside our control. Anxiety, ruminating on negative thoughts and fears, and inflated skepticism are all states of mind related to a very active amygdala.


Several studies have demonstrated that androgens acting on specific neurons in the amygdala can activate fearful responses.

They do this by increasing communication to the brain stem while reducing communication to orbitofrontal cortex which is involved in the cognitive processing of decision-making.

One study demonstrated that raising testosterone / androgens, reduces interpersonal trust, finding that the hormones may alter social judgments by acting directly on the amygdala, while oxytocin exerted the opposite effects. [R]

An overactive amygdala and elevated androgens are often the culprits behind less rational thoughts, short tempers, acting out of anger and a fight-response when confronted with social threats. [R]

2. A drop in Serotonin levels

f62068ff9f148dd65cf692507254a91fLow serotonin levels have been linked to depression, anxiety, low energy, and being tense and irritable.

RAISING serotonin helps boost mood, behavior, appetite, digestion, sleep, memory, sexual function and so much more. [R]

In one published study, Relationships Between Androgens, Serotonin Gene Expression and Innervation, a group that was given DHT (the most potent androgen) had markedly suppressed serotonin levels.

It was also noted in, Aggression: The testosterone / serotonin link that a combination of high androgens with low serotonin was a significant indictor of aggressive behaviors in study participants.

3. Increased secretion of Cortisol (stress hormones)

Excess cortisol from the adrenal glands can be released by people with high androgens. In this study, stimulated cortisol levels were notably higher in patients with elevated androgens compared with controls.

Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels can cause many physical health issues and are also a trigger for:

  • Tiredness – Cortisol interferes with daily cycles of other hormones, disrupting sleep patterns and causing fatigue.
  • Decreased resilience – It squelches a positive attitude, optimism and the ability to regulate emotions.
  • Impaired brain function – It interferes with memory, contributing to mental cloudiness or “brain fog.”
  • Depression – Many studies have linked excessive cortisol with mental illnesses.

Balancing cortisol by reducing circulating androgen levels can restore mental clarity, vitality, energy and a positive mood.

Solving the puzzle

When I learned how intimately androgens are related with the amygdala, serotonin and cortisol, everything became clear.

The experiences people reported weren’t coincidences, the herb derived from this small palm tree, “Saw Palmetto” was simply working exactly as promised.

img_7729How does it work?

The extract from saw palmetto’s serenoa berries contain fatty acids that have been shown to reduce the uptake of androgens into tissues up to 40%.

It does this by blocking 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to the much more potent androgen, DHT (a.k.a. the “bad” testosterone). [R]


By blocking the conversion, the harmful effects of DHT are muted and the symptoms of excess androgens begin to fade. For more in depth information, please see, Saw Palmetto May Reduce Elevated Androgens in the Journal of Restorative Medicine.

In addition to the above emotional symptoms, other physical symptoms that may suggest elevated androgen levels are: 

  • Acne & cystic acne (or a history of it)
  • Males: male pattern baldness, enlarged prostrate, low sperm count [R]
  • Females: hirsutism – increased facial and body hair, thinning hair on the head, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – menstrual irregularity / dysfunction, fertility issues [R]

Note – Many people who’ve had positive results with this herb displayed only the emotional symptoms of excess androgens and not the additional physical symptoms.

Should I perform testing?

I’ve read that the reference ranges for hormone testing are not reliable and I agree. My own hormone levels fell well within normal range, and yet I benefitted immensely from reducing androgens.

If symptoms indicate elevated androgens, my opinion is that reducing them slightly with an herb is something I would trial without a lab test.

4-512With saw palmetto, changes generally occur quickly (1-2 days), and the effects are temporary. Because of this, it’s my opinion that a short trial is not much of a risk.

If you’d like more specifics, either before or after trying saw palmetto, detailed information about testing is in: What Is a Testosterone Test? and When to Consider a Testosterone Test. My advice is to not rely on published reference ranges and consider that any results above the midline may indicate a possible issue.

I’m inclined to think that even people without elevated androgens may somehow have a heightened sensitivity to DHT and anti-androgen herbs can still help, but that is only my opinion from gathering anecdotal experiences.

Additional Notes

  • There is not a conclusive answer on whether Saw Palmetto helps people who have low androgens or estrogen dominance [more here].
  • For men with any concerns, this article referencing how Saw Palmetto helps retain normal levels of good testosterone may help.

Curb anxiety, irritability, and low energy with this amazing herb — Saw Palmetto


“What dosage should I use?”

The dose most adults are using for the best success is approximately 320 mg, twice a day.  [My daughter (11) was taking 150 mg, twice a day. Now at age 14 she takes 320 mg twice a day, sometimes three times based on time of the month]

The capsules I use are standardized to contain 85% fatty acids and sterols. It’s important to take saw palmetto extract. If you purchase the herb or berries and the bottle doesn’t specify ‘extract,’ it’s a weaker formula and you will need a much higher dose.

The brand we prefer is Doctor’s Best. You can also find other brands on amazon, online nutrition stores, or at health food stores. If your brand contains less than 85% standardization, you may want to increase the dose.

Some people find it best to take with food but it’s not a requirement. Also, if you find 320 mg is too much, or you want to start slowly, you can open the capsule and empty a small portion out.

“When should I take it?”

1Most people have been taking it first thing in the morning and another dose in the afternoon / early evening. I take mine around 7-8 am and 3-4 pm.

Taking at least one dose in the morning is important because that’s when androgen levels peak.

Interestingly, some say it can both give energy during the day and helps them fall asleep (and sleep more restfully) when taken at bedtime. Others have said it gives them too much energy at bedtime.

The benefits seem to last approximately 6-8 hours, so a second dose in the afternoon is ideal and if you’d like to experiment with a 3rd dose at bedtime, that may help too.

“How long until I’ll know it’s working?”

Some people, including myself, notice a difference in their disposition within 15 minutes. If you take it twice a day for 2 days and still see nothing, then you either don’t have elevated androgens and it’s not going to help you, or you may need a higher dose to achieve results.

If you see results, they will only last the day you take it. If you take too much, some report feeling giddy or a very dull headache. Taking it with food or decreasing the dose should remedy these issues.

“Why haven’t I heard about this before?”

I wish I knew! I recently also wrote about how significantly anti-androgen herbs helped my daughter who had some mood issues with the onset of puberty and also neuroimmune challenges, and it too, was a first of it’s kind article. Several physicians reached out and expressed their gratitude for the research and have been recommending them to patients.

Potentially changing lives has filled me with immense joy and hope! In our group for children, some parents have seen such astonishingly positive results, it’s left a lot of people wondering the same thing – why didn’t someone think of this sooner?

FAQ-512I don’t have answers for how it could be that more people haven’t pieced this together. 

There’s a tremendous amount of scientific research on the effects of high androgen levels on emotional state.

And there’s strong research for using herbs to effectively reduce androgens in both men and women for physical symptoms (acne, hair loss, PCOS, etc…).

However, there’s a disconnect between those two areas of research and no real documentation of using anti-androgen herbs to treat motivation, mood, energy levels or any emotional issues.

grey_new_seo-17-512It’s my greatest hope that mental health professionals will begin to explore anti-androgen herbs as an extremely effective option to help certain patients potentially suffering needlessly with the issues in this article. 

“Are there other herbs I can also try?”

Yes!  Although Saw Palmetto delivers the most noticeable results, I wrote about some of the other herbs that help with hormone levels in other articles. [1] [2] Here’s a brief list with research linked to each.  [Also see: An Update on Plant Derived Anti-Androgens]

  • Vitex [R]
  • Black Cohosh [R]
  • White Peony [R]
  • Spearmint [R]
  • DGL (Licorice) [R]

I’ll leave you with some additional quotes from people in our group who have recently started using Saw Palmetto.

After not taking it for two days, my husband returned to being grumpy, depressed and angry over little stuff, but after just one day back on it, he was back to being nice, happy, talkative and motivated once again and has been for weeks – unbelievably amazing!!!

He’s acting like the person I married.. but even better in some ways.

When I wake up too early in the morning, my mind is typically filled with racing thoughts and worries. I can never seem to stop them. But if I take it immediately upon realizing I’m awake, within 10-15 minutes, the obsessing is gone, I feel total calm, peace and fall back asleep, every time!

I was battling moderate depression for years and I can’t believe I’m saying this ((knock on wood!)) but, I feel like I’m cured! The world is sunny again and I can’t thank you enough. Nothing else has worked. I feel like a new person with a brand new positive outlook. I’m finally looking forward to the future!

Saw Palmetto is miraculously helping us! My son’s acne and puberty temperament issues are almost totally gone and my husband is working more and tackling the honey-do list! omg!!! and me – – I’m so much nicer (ha!) and not a worried mess about things!!

Our whole house is calmer and we laugh together now and actually enjoy spending time together again. It’s a miracle in a bottle!!!

I plan to buy it for many people I know!!!

537186045.jpgIf you or someone you know may have elevated androgens, I hope this article has inspired you to consider trying saw palmetto and also consider spreading the word.

At the time of this publication, I have not found any other blog entries or scientific articles discussing the use of anti-androgen herbs for conditions such as anxiety, irritability, depression, obsessive negative thoughts, low energy, lack of motivation, anger, rage, quick temper or any emotional issues. For that reason, I’ve become very passionate about telling others!

Almost too good to be true

Just over a year has passed since I purchased that very first bottle of Saw Palmetto.  I’ve bought many since. I’ve supplied samples to friends and family. And I’ve heard from countless about the amazing ways it’s helped their families.

Without an ounce of hesitation, I can tell you that I believe every person who has these issues and suspects high androgens, owes it to themselves to give it a try.

For me, for our family, and for so many others, it’s been such a life changing discovery, not a single day goes by that I don’t still silently wonder to myself, “How could this be?” 

Curb anxiety, irritability & low energy with this amazing herb - Saw Palmetto

9 thoughts on “Curb anxiety, irritability, and low energy with this amazing herb — Saw Palmetto

  1. Pingback: 3 Herbs that cleared my skin completely when nothing else worked – the village blog

  2. Rebecca, your posts and research just amaze me! I’m going to try this combo of supplements, mainly to just help balance my hormones which I feel have been on kind of a roller coaster since hitting 40. The Black Cohosh that I find on Amazon is mainly 540mg. Do you think that’s way too much? How did you settle on the 200mg dosage?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, you’re too kind! If it’s a pill you could take half and half (if you have empty capsules to divide it into). I take about 300 mg twice a day now. I’ve been experimenting with many different doses. 💛 I buy mine at Whole Foods.


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