Serenoa serrulata,

(Michaux) Hooker filius.

The partially dried, ripe fruit.

Habitat. S. United States, N. Carolina to Florida; sandy soil near seacoast.

Syn. Saw Palmetto Berries, Saw Palmetto, Palmetto (Scrub), Dwarf Palmetto, Fan Palm; Fr. Palmier nain; Ger. Palmettopalme, Sabal.

Sa'bal. L. fr. S. American or Mexican native name.

Se-re'no-a. L. after Professor Sereno Watson, a noted American botanist and author.

Ser-ru-la'ta. L. fr. semdatus, serrula, dim. of serra, a saw - i. e., the petioles of the leaves with spiny edges, like saw-teeth.

Saw' pal-met'to - fr. saw, saw-like edges of petioles, + L. palma, palm of the hand - i. e., leaves like the outspread hand.

Plant. - Small, low shrub; stem (caudex) creeping; rhizome many feet long, 10 - 15 Cm. (4-6') thick, running horizontally several feet under the surface; roots numerous, fibrous, 1.5-3 M. (5-10°) long, 12 Mm. (1/2') thick; leaves terminal, orbicular (flabelliform) .6-1 M. (2-3°) long, in dense masses, l0-12-cleft; petioles aculeate-serrate; flowers small, white, on long woolly, branched spadix, base sheathed by spathes. Fruit, 1-seeded drupe, similar to olive, ellipsoidal, ovoid, occasionally compressed, 1.5-3 Cm. (3/5-1 1/5' long, 1-1.5 Cm. (2/5-3/5') broad, bluish-black, brownish, smooth, somewhat oily, few large angular depressions (shriveled) from contraction of inner layer on drying, summit with scar of style, base with short stalk or stem-scar; epicarp and sarcocarp forming thin coriaceous shell enclosing hard thin endocarp, which is externally reddish-brown, somewhat fibrous as is also the inner layer of sarcocarp; inner layer of endocarp smooth, enclosing a hard, ellipsoidal, ovoid, somewhat flattened, reddish-brown seed; odor pronounced, aromatic; taste sweetish, aromatic, slightly acrid. Powder, yellowish-brown; microscopically - large irregular fragments, parenchyma cells of sarcocarp containing an amorphous substance, whitish fragments of endosperm, few nearly colorless tabular stone cells. Should be kept in tightly-closed containers, adding occasionally a few drops of chloroform or carbon tetrachloride to prevent insect attack. Solvents: alcohol; ether. Dose, gr. 15-60 (1-4 Gm.). Commercial. - Plant grows with greater exuberance near the sea, from Mosquito Inlet to Jupiter Inlet, Florida, where it forms an unbroken scrub a hundred (160 Km.) or more miles in length and

Fig. 30.   Saw Palmetto: fruit and seed.

Fig. 30. - Saw Palmetto: fruit and seed.

several in breadth; the dense leaves with their saw-like edges render the jungles almost impenetrable by beast and man. The fruit ripens Oct.-Dec., and collection begins in August, before maturity, lasting until Jan.; after the fruit-stems are cut with pruning-shears, the fruit is shaken into baskets, a bushel weighing, when fresh, 54 pounds (25 Kg.), and when dried 30-40 pounds (13.5-19 Kg.). It is then placed in barrels and preserved for use by adding thereto a small amount of alcohol.

Constituents. - Volatile oil .5-1 p. c, Fixed oil 12-15 p. c, fat, alkaloid, resin, dextrin, glucose; seeds contain fixed oil 12 p. c.

Volatile Oil. - Not supposed to exist in the dried fruit; some claim it to be present in the recent fruit, others that it is formed by the slow action of the fatty acids on the alcohol in which the fruit is kept. It has a green color and an old-cheese odor.

Fixed Oil. - Thought to be composed of 2 portions, one being of a light lemon color, the other a greenish-brown; when combined has sp. gr. 0.885-0.914, congeals at 11.5° C, (53° F.), melts at 19.5° C. (67° F.).

Preparations. - 1. Fluidextractum Sabal. Fluidextract of Sabal. (Syn., Fldext. Sabal, Fluid Extract of Sabal, Fluidextract of Saw Palmetto; Fr. Extrait fluide de Palmier nain; Ger. Palmettopalme-fluidextrakt.)

Manufacture: Moisten, macerate for (3 hours in tightly-covered container 100 Gm. with enough 80 p. c. alcohol, pack, percolate with same menstruum until exhausted, reserve first 85 Ml. (Cc.), reclaim alcohol, evaporate to soft extract, which dissolve in the reserve, mix thoroughly, add menstruum q. s. 100 Ml. (Cc.). Dose, xv-60 (1-4 Ml. (Cc.)).

Unoff. Preps.: Tincture, 20 p. c, dose, 3 j-2 (4-8 Ml. (Cc.)). Tinc-tura Sabal et Santali, 20 p. c., + sandal wood 6.5, alcohol 80 p. c. Inhalation - mix alcoholic solution with boiling water and inhale the vapor.

Properties. - Sedative, diuretic, expectorant, nutrient, tonic, anti-catarrhal. Improves digestion, induces sleep, increases flesh, weight, and strength.

Uses. - Chronic bronchitis, phthisis, cold in the head, whooping-cough, irritated mucous membrane of the throat, nose, and larynx, cardiac asthma, diseases of glands of reproductive organs (mammae, ovaries, prostate, testes).

Allied Plants: