Sarsaparilla Uses & Benefits
Sarsaparilla: Sarsaparilla is obtained from the dried roots of a few tropical species of Smilax, a member of the family Liliaceae. Some of the important spice-yielding species include S. aristolochiaefolia Mill. (Mexico), S. Officinalis H.B. & K. (Honduras), and S. regelii Killip & Morton (Jamaica). The plant thrives best in hot and humid climates and on light, well-drained sandy loam rich in humus.
The plants are climbing or trailing vines with prickly stems. The essence is short and thick, with very long, thin roots. The plants are harvested after attaining 2–3 years of age. They are carefully dug up and cut off near the stock, which is then covered up again with surface soil. The harvested roots are then washed well, dried in the sun, and tied up in bundles. The roots contain a bitter assumption that is used as a flavoring agent. It is chiefly used as a liquor condiment for the preparation of soft drinks. Sarsaparilla is mostly used in combination with wintergreen and other fragrant plants.
Many species of Smilax fall into the types of sarsaparilla, including:
- S. Officinalis
- S. japicanga
- S. febrifuga
- S. regelii
- S. aristolochiaefolia
- S. ornata
- S. glabra
Sarsaparilla was later introduced into European medicine and eventually registered as an herb in the United States Pharmacopoeia to treat syphilis.
Sarsaparilla is also the familiar name of a soft drink that was popular in the early 1800s. The liquor was used as a home remedy and was often served in bars.
Contrary to popular belief, the sarsaparilla soft drink was typically made from another plant called sassafras. It has been described as a similar aftertaste to root beer or birch beer. The drink is still famous in certain Southeast Asian countries but is no longer common in the United States.
Though it can be found online and in specialty stores, today’s sarsaparilla drinks don’t actually contain any sarsaparilla or sassafras. Instead, they contain common and artificial flavoring to mimic the taste.
Sarsaparilla contains an abundance of plant chemicals thought to have a beneficial effect on the human body. Chemicals known as saponins might help curtail joint pain and skin itching and also kill bacteria. Other vinegar may be helpful in reducing inflammation and protecting the liver from damage. It is important to note that human studies for these claims are either very old or lacking. The studies referenced below used the individual active components in this plant, individual cell studies, or mice studies. While the results are very intriguing, human studies are needed to support the claims.
The profits of sarsaparilla root for treating psoriasis were documented decades ago. One studyTrusted Source found that sarsaparilla dramatically improved skin lesions in people with psoriasis. The analyst hypothesized that one of the sarsaparilla’s main steroids, called sarsaponin, is able to bind to endotoxins responsible for the lesions in psoriasis patients and remove them from the body.
Sarsaparilla is a potent anti-inflammatory. This factor makes it also a useful treatment for inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and other causes of joint pain and the swelling caused by gout.
Sarsaparilla has shown activity against adverse bacteria and other microorganisms that have invaded the body. Though it may not work as well as modern-day antibiotics and antifungals, it has been used for centuries to treat major illnesses like leprosy and syphilis. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disorder caused by a bacterium. Leprosy is another devastating infection caused by bacteria.
The antimicrobial action of sarsaparilla has been documented in recent studies. One paper looked at the activity of over 60 particular phenolic compounds isolated from sarsaparilla. Researchers tested these compounds against six types of bacteria and one fungus. The study found 18 compounds that demonstrated antimicrobial trappings against the bacteria and one against the fungus.
A recent study showed that sarsaparilla had anticancer properties in cell lines of multiple types of cancers and in mice. Preclinical studies in breast cancer tumors and liver cancer have also shown the antitumor properties of sarsaparilla. More research is needed to find out if sarsaparilla can be used in cancer prevention and treatment.
5. Protecting the liver
Sarsaparilla has also shown careful effects on the liver. Research conducted in rats with liver damage found that compounds rich in flavonoids from sarsaparilla was able to reverse damage to the liver and help it function at its best.
What Is Sarsaparilla
Sarsaparilla is used for treating psoriasis and other skin trappings, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and kidney disease; for increasing urination to reduce fluid retention; and for increased sweating. Sarsaparilla is also used along with conventional drugs for facing leprosy and for syphilis.
Athletes sometimes use sarsaparilla as a steroid for performance improvements or bodybuilding. Some addition makers claim that chemicals (sterols) in sarsaparilla can be converted to anabolic steroids like testosterone. But this is a false claim. The sterols added in sarsaparilla are not anabolic steroids nor are they converted in the body to anabolic steroids. Testosterone has never been exposing to any plant, including sarsaparilla.
Mexican and Honduran sarsaparillas are used for treating gonorrhea, fevers, and digestive disorders.
In manufacturing, sarsaparilla is recycled as a flavoring agent in foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals.
In the American “Old West,” sarsaparilla was the most famous drink of the cowboys.
Don’t confuse sarsaparilla with Indian or false sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus, Family: Apocynaceae). There are several reports that this false sarsaparilla is a common impurity found in sarsaparilla preparations. in False sarsaparilla addition none of the possibly active chemicals found in true sarsaparilla (Smilax febrifuga, Family: Smilacaceae).
Sioux City Sarsaparilla
There are no known harmful effects of using sarsaparilla. However, taking a large number of saponins may cause stomach irritation. Be aware that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate herbs and supplements and they aren’t subjected to rigorous safety and efficacy testing prior to marketing.
Sarsaparilla may interact with certain medications. It can increase the ability of your body to absorb other drugs. Call your doctor right away if you experience any side effects while taking sarsaparilla.
Sunset Sarsaparilla Real Life
Zou et al. (2010) demonstrated as astilbin showed downregulation of T-cell activity, induction of apoptosis, a negative stimulation of regulatory cytokine expression, suppression of activated T-cell adhesion and migration. Recently, Di et al. (2016) studied the potential role of astilbin as an antipsoriatic agent by using an IMQ-induced psoriasis-like mouse model. Doses of 25–50 mg/kg of astilbin were used. Astilbin ameliorated keratinocyte proliferation, elevations in circulating CD4 and CD8+ T cells and inflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ, IL-17A, IL-2, IL-6, and TNF-α.
The flavonoid is able to inhibit in vitro IL-17 secretion, Th17 cell differentiation, and Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Jak/Stat3) signaling in Th17 cells, and to upregulate SCOSE3 expression in psoriatic lesions, suggesting that astilbin directly affects multiple processes involved in Stat3 signaling in IMQ-induced psoriasis-like inflammation.
Jak/Tyk proteins have recently been proposed as potential targets for the treatment of psoriasis (Andrés et al., 2013). In psoriasis, these proteins signal through STAT molecules, including STAT3 expression and activation, and been augmented in psoriatic lesions (Lu et al., 2013).
Di et al. (2016) found that the levels of both the phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated forms of Stat3 and jak3 proteins decreased by using a high dose of astilbin in treated mice. Taking into account all of the reported studies, astilbin appears to target multiple processes and may be useful in a variety of inflammatory diseases with fewer associated toxicities and adverse effects than conventional treatments.
Is root beer and sarsaparilla the same thing?
Sarsaparilla is made from the sarsaparilla vine, while root beer was originally made from the roots of the sassafras tree. Modern root beers do not contain sassafras because of the potential health risks of the plant.
What are the benefits of sarsaparilla?
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 increased sweating. Sarsaparilla is also used along with conventional drugs for treating leprosy and for syphilis.