Saw palmetto honey, the gourmet honey from the dwarf American palm tree, called a palmetto, ruled the land of Florida when Ponce de Leon landed on its shores looking for the “fountain of youth”. Ponce de Leon undoubtedly waded through the palmettos while exploring the land of flowers.
Elderly Native Indian men had long discovered that eating the fruit of the saw palmetto reduced the frequency of urinating through the night, increased libido and gave the small palm the Indian name that meant ”spring of life.”
Real estate developers have destroyed thousands of acres of palmettos to prepare new building sites for homes and businesses. Although small concentrations of saw-palmetto can be found from southern Mississippi to South Carolina, Florida is recognized with the only density of saw-palmetto large enough to gather the berries and honey in commercial quantities. The area from about Sarasota to Miami is identified as the “palmetto belt” as it is only in this region that saw palmetto bares fruits consistently and in quantities that support commercial honey and berry production. High humidity, and steady heat with the absence of winter lows make this local perfect for the saw palmetto.
The saw palmetto grows very slow with trunks that lay flat on the ground, that eventually turns 90° skyward to support a palm head 4 – 6 ft in diameter. Most palmetto patches grow 4 ft tall, however some varieties are as high as 20 ft tall and live to be over 700 years old.
Seeds from the palmetto are slow to germinate taking as much as 6 months to germinate and 6 years to fruit. The honey bee has become the primary pollinator of the saw palmetto, producing a secondary agricultural crop to this annual 120 million dollar industry.
Spain exported the first palmetto berries from St. Augustine Florida in the early 1600s. Based on the European exposure to the palmetto fruit, Italy, Germany and France have many years of laboratory trial findings that tout the lowly Florida palmetto berry as the answer to prostate swelling in men, libido enhancer, baldness inhibitor and urinary complications.
Gourmet Saw Palmetto Honey is produced in the pollinating of the number three herbal supplement sold in the U.S. Garlic and Echinacea are the only supplements that are sold more than Saw palmetto berry.
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