Botanical Description:Sarsaparilla,Smilax Medica,Smilax China.
- Basic Botanical Info:Sarsaparilla,Smilax officinalis.
- Botanical Description:Sarsaparilla,Smilax Medica,Smilax China.
- Sarsaparilla Phytochemicals and Constituents.
- Botanical Source and History of Sarsaparilla,Smilax root.
- Sarsaparilla Tribal and Herbal Medicine Uses.
- Current Practical Uses of Sarsaparilla,Smilax root.
- Sarsaparilla Worldwide Ethnomedical Uses.
- Administration and Suggestions:how to use Smilax officinalis?
- Smilax officinalis Family.
- Research Update:Smilax officinalis.
Botanical Description:Sarsaparilla,Smilax Medica,Smilax China.
Sarsaparilla has a stout, flexuous and square stem, with a few hooked prickles above. Leaves unarmed, elliptical-ovate, cuspidate, abruptly contracted at each end; three strong veins, two lateral smaller secondary ones; underside glaucous, 3 inches diameter, on short margined petioles, with two long tendrils at their bases. Flowers yellowish-white, appearing May to August, in small thin umbels of three or four red or black berries, three-seeded.
Smilax Medica has an angular stem armedwith straight prickles at joints, and a few hooked ones at intervals; paper-like leaves, bright green both sides, smooth, cordate, auriculate, shortly acuminate, five-nerved prominent veins underneath and otherwise variable in form. Mid-rib and petioles, when old, have straight, subulate prickles, peduncles three lines to 1 inch; umbels twelve flowers; pedicle three lines long. Found growing in Papantla, Inspan, etc. Said to be similar to the Mexican or Vera Cruz Sarsapa of commerce, which may be derived from this species.
The roots of several woody climbing plants native to Central and South America constitute the medication sarsaparilla. All of them are species of the genus Smilax, belonging to the family Smilacaceae. Included are S. aristolochiaefolia Miller, known as Mexican sarsaparilla, S. regelii Killip and Morton, commonly referred to as Honduran sarsaparilla, S. febrifuga Kunth, or Ecuadorian sarsaparilla, as well as other undetermined species of Smilax.
This tropical American perennial plant produces a long, tuberous rootstock, from which grows a ground-trailing vine that climbs by means of tendrils corning in pairs from the petioles of the ovate, evergreen leaves. The small, greenish flowers grow in axillary umbels.
Habitat:A native of the southern United States and grows in swampy woods and thickets.
The Mexican and South American sarsaparillas have numerous long, delicate roots proceeding from one caudex or rhizome; they are usually taken from the ground with the caudex attached, and are frequently packed in a peculiar manner for exportation (see commercial grades, next page). Those roots which have a deep orange-red tint are preferred, but more especially those whose taste is acrid. The stronger this is, the better is the quality of the root. Water, either cold or hot, and also diluted alcohol, extracts its medicinal virtues, which, however, are materially injured by too great or long-continued heat. Sarsaparilla should never be purchased unless, after having chewed it for a few minutes, it leaves a distinct, persistent pungency or acrimony in the mouth and fauces; without this effect it can not be relied upon as an efficient article.
The official sarsaparilla is thus described: "About 4 or 5 Mm. (1/6 to 1/5 inch thick, very long, cylindrical, longitudinally wrinkled, externally grayish-brown, or orange-brown; internally showing a whitish and mealy, or somewhat horny, cortical layer, surrounding a circular wood-zone, the latter enclosing a broad pith; nearly inodorous; taste mucilaginous, bitterish, and acrid. The thick, woody, knotty rhizome, if present, should be removed"(U. S. P.). Commercially, the sarsaparillas are best distinguished as mealy and non-mealy; the latter are preferred for medicinal purposes.
Sarsaparilla is a brambled, woody vine that grows up to 50 m long, with paired tendrils for climbing (often high into the rainforest canopy). It produces small flowers and black, blue, or red berry-like fruits which are eaten greedily by birds. Smilax, a member of the lily family, is native to tropical and temperate parts of the world and comprises about 350 species worldwide. It is native to South America, Jamaica, the Caribbean, Mexico, Honduras, and the West Indies. The name sarsaparilla or zarzaparilla comes from the Spanish word zarza (bramble or bush), parra (vine), and illa (small),a small, brambled vine.
The stems of many Smilax species are covered with prickles and, sometimes, these vines are cultivated to form impenetrable thickets (which are called catbriers or greenbriers). The root, used for medicinal purposes, is long and tuberous,spreading 6~8 feet,and is odorless and fairly tasteless. Many species of Smilax around the world share the name sarsaparilla; these are very similar in appearance, uses, and even chemical structure. These include S. officinalis, S. japicanga, and S. febrifuga from South America (Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia); S. regelii, S. aristolochiaefolia, and S. ornata from Mexico and Latin America; and S. glabra from China. Sarsaparilla vine should not be confused with the large sasparilla and sassafras trees (the root and bark of which were once used to flavor root beer). Sarsaparilla has been used as an ingredient in root beer and other beverages for its foaming properties,not for its flavoring properties.
Sarsaparilla is the root of several South and Central American and Caribbean species of Smilax, a genus in the lily family. They include Mexican sarsaparilla (S. medica, also known as S. aristolochiifolia), Honduran sarsaparilla (S. regehlii), Ecuadorean sarsaparilla (S. febrifuga), Jamaican sarsaparilla (S. ornata), and other species. Most of the commercial supply is harvested from the wild.
Sarsaparilla is a natural herb that has been used by many individuals in connection with liver disease and syphilis. However, it is most commonly used in connection with eczema, psoriasis, and other skin disorders.
Sarsaparilla is native to South America, Latin America, Mexico, and the islands of the Caribbean and was introduced to Europe in the late 15th century. Unlike the sarsaparilla tree which is primarily found in the Northern hemisphere, sarsaparilla is a vine-like plant that has wood-like stems and long thorns. Sarsaparilla was exported to Europe before 1530 from Mexico. It was used in the sixteenth-century for syphilis and rheumatism. Sarsaparilla was used in the 1850s for syphilis in the U. S. Pharmacopoeia. Sarsaparilla products were promoted as blood purifiers, tonics, diuretics, sweat inducers, and for many other applications and was often used in patent medicines. With claims implying it contains testosterone, sarsaparilla has been used as a male sexual rejuvenator and an anabolic steroid replacement in natural body-building formulas.
Sarsaparilla contains steroidal saponins, such as sarsasapogenin, which some researcher claim can duplicate the action of some human hormones. However, this purported property of sarsaparilla remains has not been substantiated by empirical evidence. Sarsaparilla also contains beta-sitosterol, a phytosterol, which may contribute to the anti-inflammatory property of this herb. A few reports suggest that sarsaparilla has both anti-inflammatory and liver-protecting effects. Similar findings on the effect of sarsaparilla on psoriasis can also be found in European literature.
- 1.Sarsaparilla.Smilax officinalis,Legend of Smilax China.
♥The article and literature were edited by Herbalist of MDidea Extracts Professional.It runs a range of descriptions about the titled herb and related phytochemicals, including comprehensive information related, summarized updating discoveries from findings of herbalists and clinical scientists from this field.The electronic data information published at our official website https://www.mdidea.com and https://www.mdidea.net, we tried to update it to latest and exact as possible.
♣ last edit date: