The Saga of Saw Palmetto (and what that means for MegaFood!)
| Abigail McShinsky | Posted Nov. 14, 2017 |
Incredible, Edible Plants.
As an herbalist, I think plants are incredible. Yet you don’t have to share my zeal for plant medicine to know herbs’ remarkable ability to support our well-being when used as a part of a healthy lifestyle*. Certain plants have experienced a surge in popularity for this very reason (turmeric, for example, and rightfully so!) When a botanical like this becomes widely used, however, it’s not just our health we need to keep an eye on. As stewards of the planet, it is important that we nurture these plants just as we would ourselves, and ensure that their populations are healthy and thriving.
As farmers, we have become incredibly adept over the millennia at growing and harvesting our own crops, and medicinal herbs are included in this. However, there are some plants that thrive only when wild-crafted, and cannot be farmed using traditional methods. Once such herb is Saw Palmetto.
Wildcrafting (also known as foraging) is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or 'wild' habitat, primarily for food or medicinal purposes. It applies to uncultivated plants wherever they may be found, and is not necessarily limited to wilderness areas.
Not Tough Enough
Saw Palmetto is a small palm found in the Southeast United States. This plant is primarily used to support prostate health in men, though is a tonic herb that can also support overall well-being (you may have spotted it in some of our One Daily multivitamins)*. It is very hardy, and a single plant can live - literally - hundreds of years.
While it certainly may be a hardy plant, it is still no match for Mother Nature. It turns out 2016 was a hard year for these plants, and in 2017 they’ve fared no better. Hurricane Irma not only decimated our Southern coastlines, it also devastated Saw Palmetto crops for the year.
A Situation of Sacrifice
When unexpected things like this happen, there are always a few options available to a supplement company. We could continue sourcing Saw Palmetto, which would increase the stress on these already-struggling plant populations (or require us to sacrifice our quality!)...OR, we could review our formulations and see how we can lessen the burden on this plant.
You may have already guessed it - we certainly don’t want to add to the difficulties already facing Saw Palmetto plants, and as a result have removed it from our formulations. We relied on Saw Palmetto in a handful of our products in tonic doses to aid in optimal health*. We feel that the removal of this ingredient won’t impact the function of the products, and more importantly, helps Saw Palmetto crops re-establish themselves in the wake of Hurricane Irma by decreasing demand.
Is Your Supplement Affected?
The products impacted by this change include Daily Maca Plus for Men. Saw Palmetto has been removed from the formulations moving forward. We will, of course, continue to keep an eye on Saw Palmetto and other high-risk crops to ensure we are sourcing sustainably. If you have any questions about our sourcing standards or how this may impact you, please feel free to call us at 800-848-2542.
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.