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Information about the Herb Sarsaparilla

Smilax ornata, also known as Jamaica Sarsaparilla is part of theLiliaceae plant family. Sarsaparilla originates from central America, especially Costa Rica.

General Information

Botanical Name:Smilax ornata

Plant Family:Liliaceae

Common name: Jamaica Sarsaparilla, Red-bearded Sarsaparilla, Smilax medica

History: The word Sarsaparilla comes from the Spanish word Sarza meaning 'a bramble' and parilla, 'a vine'.Jamaica Sarsaparilla derived its name from being exported to Europe through Jamaica.

  • Native American Indians used Sarsaparilla for a wide variety of ailments
  • Pirates used Sarsaparilla for syphilis
  • Used since the 16th century for syphilis

Tradition:

It was thought:

  • to be an antidote to deadly poisons
  • that if given to a newborn it would make it immune to all poisons

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Plant Constituents of Sarsaparilla

Contains:

  • active principle, Parillin (Smilacin)
  • glucoside
  • sarsapic acid
  • sarsapogenin (related to progesterone and used in its synthesis)
  • sarsaponin
  • starch

and the Fatty Acids:

  • palmitic acid
  • stearic acid
  • behenic acid
  • oleic acid
  • linolic acid

Action:

  • alterative [an agent capable of favorably altering or changing unhealthy conditions of the body and tending to restore normal bodily function, usually by improving nutrition]
  • blood purifier
  • diaphoretic [an agent that promotes perspiration]
  • diuretic [an agent that increases the volume and flow of urine which cleanses the urinary system]
    immune system suppressant
  • mild gastric irritant
  • pectoral [remedy for pulmonary or other lung and chest diseases]
  • tonic [an agent that tones, strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being]

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Usage of Sarsaparilla

Medicinal Parts Used: Root

Sarsaparilla is used for:

Bacterial and Viral Conditions

  • retro-viruses, e.g. herpes, HIV etc.
  • syphilis

Genitourinary Conditions

  • gout

Inflammatory Conditions

  • rheumatism

Respiratory Tract Conditions

  • coughs and colds

The smoke of Sarsaparilla is used for:

  • asthma

Other

  • abscesses
  • ulcers

Externally, Sarsaparilla is used for:

  • abscesses
  • rheumatism
  • skin diseases
  • ulcers

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Precautions

Drug Interactions:

Do not use Sarsaparilla without first talking to your practitioner or healthcare provider if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • None indicated

Product

Global Herbal Supplies has Sarsaparilla available in the following forms:


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Research


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Information given by our website is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by a physician or other medical professionals. You should not use the information given for diagnosing a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. The above information is just a guide to general circumstances and in no way should it contradict the advice that you have been given by your naturopath, medical doctor or specialist.

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