The sarsaparilla , whose scientific name is Smilax aspera , is a shrubby plant that belongs to the family of Smilacáceas, which are plants of tropical and temperate climates originating in Asia and Africa. There are also European varieties and native to tropical America.Sarsaparilla is a perennial climbing plant , with stems that can reach up to two meters in height; their stems are rough and may have thorns that cling to tree trunks or spread across the ground. Its natural habitat is pine and holm oak forests , but it can also grow under the shade of other tree species.Its leaves are of the heart-shaped petiolate type, and have an intense green color. Its flowers are very small and yellowish in color, growing in the shape of a bouquet. Its fruits are round berries similar to currants but toxic , and that can cause different ailments. Its roots are the most appreciated part in traditional and conventional medicine, and they are very fibrous.

What is sarsaparilla good for?

The most common use of sarsaparilla is as a medicinal herb , due to its diuretic and astringent properties, but in the past the root was used to prepare herbal teas and flavored drinks. Some root beer recipes include a root extract from this plant as a flavoring.

It serves to:

  • Medicinal purposes in general
  • Provide nutrients to the body
  • Diuretic effects, calm rheumatism and blood diseases
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Treat rheumatism
  • Treat genitourinary disorders and venereal diseases
  • Heal scars, skin problems and psoriasis
  • Add to drinks, sweets and desserts

Medicinal purposes in general

Sarsaparilla has many beneficial properties, which is why it has been used since ancient times as a medicinal plant. Its main applications are as a diuretic and diaphoretic , and to calm rheumatic conditions .

Sarsaparilla has very diverse functions, among which are:

  • Diuretic
  • Astringent
  • Healing
  • Cardioprotector
  • Fungicide
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Antioxidant
  • hormone leveler
  • Hepatoprotector
  • Adaptogen
  • Antipyretic
  • Antipalúdico
  • Genital diseases
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Rheumatism
  • Kidney disorders
  • Bad urine
  • Fluid retention
  • Liver disorders
  • Skin problems
  • Healing
  • Sudorific
  • Flavoring
  • Flavoring
  • Ornamental plant
  • Candy or candy ingredient
  • Jam ingredient
  • Beverage ingredient
  • Powders Ingredient

Sarsaparilla has very diverse medicinal effects.

Provide nutrients to the body

Sarsaparilla has different medicinal and beneficial substances; Among them, the most recognized are:

  • Saponins
  • Tannins
  • Hill
  • Fitoesteroles
  • Glycosides
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Linoleic acid

The saponins are phytochemicals with antibacterial functions, diuretic, expectorant, anti – inflammatory and hepatoprotective.

The tannins are astringent substances in small quantities have healing, antihemorrhagic and astringent properties in the case of diarrhea.

Sarsaparilla is also rich in minerals, especially:

  • Football
  • Match
  • Iron
  • Aluminum
  • Manganese (in less quantity)
  • Magnesium (in less quantity)
  • Silicon (in less quantity)
  • Zinc (to a lesser extent)

Due to its chemical content, it has been highly appreciated as a remedy for different diseases, especially those of the blood or those related to kidney and menstrual problems and to combat malaria and malaria.

Diuretic effects, calm rheumatism and blood diseases

The three most recognized uses of sarsaparilla throughout history are those related to rheumatism , blood diseases and urinary problems . In the case of genitourinary infections , it is the antibacterial, fungicidal and diuretic functions of sarsaparilla that help reduce discomfort.

Lower cholesterol

Another very popular use of sarsaparilla root is as a blood cleanser , since the saponins and linoleic acid it contains help reduce the concentration of cholesterol that passes through the arteries. There are hemolytic and tonic-venous effects that help control and prevent possible blood problems.

Treat rheumatism

Sarsaparilla, due to its cleansing properties, helps to eliminate excess uric acid , so gout, rheumatism and other diseases related to high levels of this acid are diminished.

Treat genitourinary disorders and venereal diseases

For centuries, sarsaparilla varieties have been used to treat various genital conditions and those caused by venereal diseases. To achieve this, the plant has been used to prepare infusions of its root, and thus apply it in internal and external ways, such as vaginal washes.

Sarsaparilla has been credited with curative powers for diseases such as syphilis for centuries. It was even believed that this disease could be cured, but now it is known that it only helps reduce discomfort, just as it does with discomfort from gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Sarsaparilla contains beta-sitosterol , which is a phytosterol that helps relieve discomfort from some prostate disorders . Its tannins, saponins and other microbicidal, fungicidal and anti-inflammatory substances facilitate the elimination of infections and the purification of toxins.

Heal scars, skin problems and psoriasis

Sarsaparilla root-infused poultices are currently very popular to soothe the discomfort caused by psoriasis . This plant is also used in ointments and creams to:

  • Accelerate healing
  • Decrease acne
  • Prevent skin infections

In addition, the aroma of sarsaparilla has been used to make perfumes and lotions.

Add to drinks, sweets and desserts

Sarsaparilla root is highly appreciated in some countries as a flavoring, as its aroma and color make it ideal to be added to drinks, such as root beer , also called sarsaparilla, and root beer, a term in English. It is also added in the preparation of sweets and jams.

Sarsaparilla is the main ingredient in root beer.

Sarsaparilla contraindications

Sarsaparilla should not be consumed by people such as:

  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating women
  • Little girls and boys
  • Patients with kidney problems
  • Patients who are on medication with other drugs

Sarsaparilla side effects

Sarsaparilla is a plant that can be toxic, especially in the consumption of its fruits, generating side effects such as:

  • Threw up
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased level of red blood cells
  • Stomach irritation from saponins and tannins
  • Stomach disorders due to excessive consumption of the fruits and the plant
  • Electrolyte imbalances

This article is informational in nature and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.

Samantha Robson
 | Website

Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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