Latin name: Smilax aspera
Other name: Italian sarsaparilla
What is Sarsaparilla?
Sarsaparilla is a perennial vine native to tropical America and the West Indies. Along with its medicinal uses, sarsaparilla roots are the basis of root beer and a carbonated beverage called “sarsaparilla,” which is available in many countries. Young shoots of the sarsaparilla plant are sometimes cooked and used as an asparagus substitute.
What are the health benefits of Sarsaparilla?
Sarsaparilla has a history of use for treating syphilis and rheumatism in sixteenth century Europe. It is used as a springtime tonic and general body cleanser. Additionally, sarsaparilla is used as a male sexual rejuvenator, a replacement for anabolic steroids, and for arthritic pain management. Other conditions treated with sarsaparilla include eczema, kidney ailments, and psoriasis.
Where can I find Sarsaparilla?
Sarsaparilla can be found online and in herbal specialty shops.
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