Information on Sassafras

Latin NameSassafras albidum
Other NamesCommon sassafras
Part UsedRoot Bark
Herb FormsBulk herb, tincture.
AffectsBlood, Urinary system, Liver
CautionsNot for use during pregnancy. Sassafras contains the essential oil ingredient, safrole, which has demonstrated carcinogenic activity in animals--this has provoked the Food and Drug Administration to restrict the trade of the herb. Many herbalists feel t
Botanical InfoAn aromatic deciduous tree with broad one-to-three lobed leaves, small yellow flowers, small bright blue fruits in the laurel family.
DescriptionSassafras is used externally as a wash for poison oak and insect bites. Taken as a tea, sassafras is used as a diaphoretic during colds and flu and is a traditional "blood purifier" taken in the spring as part of a cleansing program. The root bark provides much of the flavor one associates with root beer, and it is used to form an important part of a traditional root beer brew, along with burdock and other cleansing herbs. As a warming diuretic, it is useful for arthritic and rheumatic conditions.

Sassafras has a taste of SPICY and a temperature of WARM.

Dosages

TypeDosage
Decoction1 cup 2-3 x daily

Ailments Treated by Sassafras

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Poison oakanti-inflammatorytea as a wash
Colds, acutediaphoretictea, tincture
Rheumatism, chronicwarming diuretictea, tincture
Arthritiswarming diuretictea, tincture

References

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.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.
Madaus, G. 1976. Lehrbuch der Biologischen Heilmittel. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.