Sarsaparilla

(Smilaxspp.)

Many different species are called by the general name sarsaparilla. Various species are found in Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. The root is used in herbal medicine.

In Mexico, sarsaparilla was used by herbalists for rheumatism, cancer, skin diseases, and a host of other conditions. Sarsaparilla also has a tradition of use in various women’s health concerns. Sarsaparilla was formerly a major flavouring agent in root beer.

What it does

Sarsparilla contains 1-3% steroidal saponins and also contains phytosterols. It appears to have some hormone like properties and is anti-toxin, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, protective to the liver, a diuretic and improves appetite and digestion.

Potential Uses

Eczema & Psoriasis General liver support Osteo arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis Acne Rheumatism

Other information

Traditional herbal medicine has focused on sarsaparilla as a blood purifier and as a treatment for skin complaints such as psoriasis, eczema and acne.

Cautions

If you take diuretics, check with your doctor before using sarsparilla.

Sarsparilla can increase the absorption of drugs such as Bismuth and Digoxin, which could increase the risk of toxicity. Always check with your doctor before using sarsparilla.

Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using sarsparilla, but in can cause stomach upset and temporary kidney discomfort.

Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

 

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