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Old 04-22-2007, 11:30 AM   #1
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Can herbs be addictive, dependency forming?

I had been taking Saw Palmetto for problems that may have been related to my prostate (urinating problems; stream keeps stopping while bladder is still full, etc.). But when the problem seemed to be resolved, I stopped taking it. Almost as soon as I stopped, I began to have problems with sleep. I keep waking up after only a couple hours, fall asleep again, wake up an hour or two later, then lay awake the rest of the night.

Sleeping pills haven't helped. They just make me more tired, but don't cause me to sleep any more.

So I got the idea of starting to take Saw Palmetto again to see if my discontinuation of it before caused my insomnia. It's been 2 nights now, and I've been sleeping somewhat better. I feel that I may have formed a dependency on the Saw Palmetto. But is that possible? Can an herb be addictive?

 
Old 04-22-2007, 02:12 PM   #2
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Re: Can herbs be addictive, dependency forming?

anything can be habit forming and most things can be addictive whether it be physical or mental addiction.

There could very well be chemical within saw palmetto that are addictive.

if you are having prostate problems, I have to ask, have you been to the doctor about this? sometimes it is nothing, sometimes it is something yet not a big deal, sometimes it is a very big deal.

You should get checked by a doc.
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Old 04-22-2007, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: Can herbs be addictive, dependency forming?

Saw palmetto contains substances called steroidal saponins. These steroidal saponins are similar to the substances that are made into sex hormones. Basically, what you're experiencing is hormone withdrawl (not exactly, but close enough). Your body has become accustomed to having those levels and is now stressed because the hormone levels are lower.

It probably would have been better to taper off over a matter of weeks, rather than cold turkey. Your withdrawl problems should clear up in a couple of weeks or you can go back on at a lower dose and start tapering off.

 
Old 04-23-2007, 11:55 AM   #4
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Re: Can herbs be addictive, dependency forming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyxie63 View Post
Saw palmetto contains substances called steroidal saponins. These steroidal saponins are similar to the substances that are made into sex hormones. Basically, what you're experiencing is hormone withdrawl (not exactly, but close enough). Your body has become accustomed to having those levels and is now stressed because the hormone levels are lower.

It probably would have been better to taper off over a matter of weeks, rather than cold turkey. Your withdrawl problems should clear up in a couple of weeks or you can go back on at a lower dose and start tapering off.
Wow! Thank you! This is the first time I've heard about why my sleeping problems exist! I will take your advice and try to wean myself off those pills gradually. I had no idea they could have these kinds of side affects.

Gooby:
I actually have been to my doctor in the past about my problem. He gave me a rectal exam and said I didn't have an enlarged prostate, but I gave the Saw Palmetto pills a try anyway because I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. They worked, I guess. I just hope that problem doesn't return, 'cuz I don't want to go through the whole process of "can't pee, then can't sleep" again.

 
Old 04-23-2007, 03:41 PM   #5
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Re: Can herbs be addictive, dependency forming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by genxsis View Post
I just hope that problem doesn't return, 'cuz I don't want to go through the whole process of "can't pee, then can't sleep" again.
I understand very well. AGood luck, it sounds like Nyxie has definately done his/her homework on this one. Weaning off sounds like a good idea.
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Old 04-23-2007, 04:41 PM   #6
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Re: Can herbs be addictive, dependency forming?

Actually, I kinda screwed up.

Went back and re-read my texts and here's most likely what's really happening. Steroidal saponins are are similar to the substances that are made into FEMALE sex hormones. What you've been doing by taking saw palmetto is suppressing the testosterone that was causing your prostate problems. Now that you no longer have these female hormone precursors going through your system, your testosterone is kicking back in.

If you start having symptoms again, it should be ok to just start taking the saw palmetto again (provided your dr doesn't think your problem is any worse). Just remember to build up and taper off again.

Glad to hear you're going to be tapering off. Even with the new info, it's the best approach. Sorry about the confusion. Should probably only post when my brain's not in a fog and I can think clearly (between this darned cold and other medical problems, it's surprising I can think at all lately).

Take care and keep us posted!

 
Old 04-24-2007, 08:33 AM   #7
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Re: Can herbs be addictive, dependency forming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyxie63 View Post
Actually, I kinda screwed up.

Went back and re-read my texts and here's most likely what's really happening. Steroidal saponins are are similar to the substances that are made into FEMALE sex hormones. What you've been doing by taking saw palmetto is suppressing the testosterone that was causing your prostate problems. Now that you no longer have these female hormone precursors going through your system, your testosterone is kicking back in.

If you start having symptoms again, it should be ok to just start taking the saw palmetto again (provided your dr doesn't think your problem is any worse). Just remember to build up and taper off again.

Glad to hear you're going to be tapering off. Even with the new info, it's the best approach. Sorry about the confusion. Should probably only post when my brain's not in a fog and I can think clearly (between this darned cold and other medical problems, it's surprising I can think at all lately).

Take care and keep us posted!
You really have done your homework! Thanks for the additional info! I didn't take a pill last night before going to bed. I can't remember how I slept, but I'm dead tired today and getting a sore throat. Wouldn't be surprised if lack of sleep is causing me to get sick after all this time. I sure hope things start getting better soon..

 
Old 04-24-2007, 11:49 AM   #8
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Re: Can herbs be addictive, dependency forming?

You're welcome. Sorry again for the confusion. Hope you feel better soon.

 
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