Sarsaparilla is a plant. The root is used to make medicine.
Sarsaparilla is used for treating psoriasis and other skin diseases, rheumatoid arthritis(RA), and kidney disease; for increasing urination to reduce fluid retention; and for increasing sweating. Sarsaparilla is also used along with conventional drugs for treating leprosy and for syphilis.
Athletes sometimes use sarsaparilla as a steroid for performance enhancement or bodybuilding. Some supplement makers claim that chemicals (sterols) in sarsaparilla can be converted to anabolic steroids like testosterone. But this is a false claim. The sterols contained in sarsaparilla are not anabolic steroids nor are they converted in the body to anabolic steroids. Testosterone has never been detected in any plant, including sarsaparilla.
Mexican and Honduran sarsaparillas are used for treating gonorrhea, fevers, and digestive disorders.
In manufacturing, sarsaparilla is used as a flavoring agent in foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals.
In the American “Old West,” sarsaparilla was the most popular drink of the cowboys.
Don’t confuse sarsaparilla with Indian or false sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus, Family: Apocyanaceae). There are reports that this false sarsaparilla is a common impurity found in sarsaparilla preparations. False sarsaparilla contains none of the possibly active chemicals found in true sarsaparilla (Smilax febrifuga, Family: Smilacaceae).
Health Benefits of Sarsaparilla
Health benefits of sarsaparilla include:
The presence of antioxidants in the root and extract of sarsaparilla has been very useful for cancer researchers around the world looking into more natural and herbal remedies. Although research has not been conclusive, the early results show positive associations between the flavonoid and sterol contents of the plant and a reduction in the spread of cancerous cells, according to a study published in the AnticancerResearch (Jennifer Wang et al., 2006).
Treats Arthritis Pains
If you are suffering from any sort of inflammatory issue, such as gout, arthritis, or even aching muscles and joints, the active ingredients of sarsaparilla can help alleviate those pains. It contains various compounds, such as saponins, parillin, and other flavonoids that can soothe those flare-ups within the body and alleviate pain and discomfort.
Increases Sex Drive
One of the more traditional uses of sarsaparilla was to increase the libido of men and women in an effort to increase fertility. Some of the organic compounds found in this root extract have been shown to increase blood flow and boost sperm motility, thereby increasing the chances of conception and improving overall sex drive.
Boosts Immune System
The natural antibacterial properties of sarsaparilla berries and the compounds in the roots make this herbal supplement a wonderful way to increase the strength of your immune system. The antibacterial properties can also help prevent infections on the skin and generally improve your response time to cold and other common illnesses.
Although research is still ongoing to determine the exact chemical pathway for this health benefit, it appears that sarsaparilla is able to suppress appetite. This means that for those trying to lose weight, adding this supplement can curb your cravings and keep you from cheating on your diet.
The antibacterial properties of sarsaparilla are one reason why the topical application of this extract (in salves and creams) is so popular. The antioxidant content can also improve the appearance and health of the skin. By eliminating wrinkles and reducing the appearance of age spots, when applied or consumed, it can keep you looking young!
Detoxifies the Body
Sarsaparilla has long been used as a diuretic, which means that it stimulates urination in those who consume it. For people who want to purify their body or detoxify in some way, a diuretic can eliminate excess fats, salts, toxins, and water from the body. Furthermore, it has been known to purify the blood, thereby increasing overall health and reducing strain on the liver and kidneys.
Dosage, 1 heaping teaspoon in juice, smoothies or tea.
This is Smilax medica.
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