Information on Sarsaparilla

Latin NameSmilax officinalis, S. spp.
Part UsedRoot, Rhizome
Herb FormsTincture, capsule, bulk herb.
AffectsBlood, Urinary system, Liver
CautionsNone noted.
Botanical InfoA climbing or trailing perennial vine of the Lily family with prickly stems, thick rhizomes, and long slender roots.
DescriptionSarsaparilla is used for skin disorders, such as eczema and psoriasis, and for rheumatism and liver problems. It is a common ingredient in blood cleansing formulas, along with red clover and burdock root and seed. Very little scientific studies have been done on sarsaparilla, but it has a long history of use for syphilis, chronic rheumatism, and skin diseases and has been said to improve the appetite and digestion. Sarsaparilla has also been used extensively in the food industry as a flavoring agent in root beer, candy, etc.

Sarsaparilla has a taste of SWEET, AROMATIC and a temperature of NEUTRAL.

Dosages

TypeDosage
Decoction1 cup 2-3 x daily
Tincture10-30 drops 2-3 x daily

Ailments Treated by Sarsaparilla

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Gonorrheaalterativetincture, capsule
Goutelimination enhancertincture, capsule, tea
Psoriasis, acuteanti-inflammatorytincture, tea, capsule
Rheumatism, chronicanti-inflammatorytincture, tea, capsule

References

Blumenthal, Mark et al. 1998. The Complete Commission E Monographs. Austin: American Botanical Council.
Newall, C. et al.. 1996. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press.
Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
Bell, V.L. 1907. Dose Book of Specific Medicines. Cincinnati: Lloyd Brothers.
Madaus, G. 1976. Lehrbuch der Biologischen Heilmittel. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.
Reynolds, J., ed. 1993. Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia. London: The Pharmaceutical Press.