- Scientific name: Smilax ornate
- Family: Lily
- Part used: Root
- Medicinal Properties: Alternative, carminative, tonic, diaphoretic
- Organ it affects: Blood, skin, circulation, and intestines.
- Origin: Rain forests of Central and South America, Jamaica and Caribbean regions
- Available forms: powders, oils, teas and Sarsaparilla soft drinks.
- Other common names: Gray Sarsaparilla, Mexican Sarsaparilla, Vera Cruz Sarsaparilla, Equadorian Sarsaparilla, Shot Bush, Red-bearded Sarsaparilla, Brown Sarsaparilla, Smilax, Jamaican Sarsaparilla, Honduran Sarsaparilla, Rabbit Root
Sarsaparilla is a perennial woody vine that may reach fifty feet in length. It has small flowers and black, blue or red berry-like fruits. The root (which is used for centuries as herbal medicine) is long, tuberous, it has a spicy-sweet and pleasant taste when processed, but before processing the roots are bitter, sticky and have a strong odor. Sarsaparilla is also used in softdrink making; this spicy, pleasant smelling root is what gave root beer its distinct taste and it is also responsible for root beer’s foaming qualities. You can buy sarsaparilla root from you local herb seller.
Health Benefits of Sarsaparilla Root:
- Sarsaparilla is used for disorders of the nervous system. Steep 1 tsp. rootstock in 1 cup water; take 1-2 cups a day.
- Sarsaparilla tea is a blood cleanser, and is often taken as a tonic to boost stamina and energy.
- Sarsaparilla helps build muscle mass.
- Sarsaparilla tea protects against radiation exposure.
- Sarsaparilla when taken hot, it induces sweating to help breaks fevers.
- Sarsaparilla is useful for frigidity, infertility and impotence.
- Sarsaparilla is beneficial for inflammatory disorders like arthritis, rheumatism, and gout.
- Sarsaparilla is a weak diuretic and laxative, making it useful in removing excess water from the body and also in treating mild constipation.
- Sarsaparilla is also used in flatulence, multiple sclerosis, mercury poisoning, breathing disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Nutrient Content of Sarsaparilla Root: vitamin A, C, B-vitamins, D, choline, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, potassium, chromium, cobalt, zinc. Other compounds includes; beta-sitosterol, starch, fatty acids, cetyl-alcohol, glucose, resin, saponin, silicon, sitosterol-d glucoside, tin.
Preparation and Dosage:
- Decoction: Simmer 15-30 minutes. Take 3 oz. 3 times daily.
- Tincture: Take 5-15 drops 3 times daily.
- Fluid Extract: Take 2-4 tsp. 3 times daily.
- Powder: Take 5-10 capsules 3 times daily
- Sarsaparilla may cause stomach irritation and temporary kidney irritation
- Huge dosage of sarsaparilla may cause gastrointestinal irritation, and if it happens dosage should be reduced or stopped.
- Prescription medicine should not be taken at the same time as Sarsaparilla, because the medicine may be absorbed or excreted more rapidly.
- Inhaling Sarsaparilla can make asthma worse in asthmatics.
- Pregnant and nursing women should avoid Sarsaparilla.