Nutritional Supplements Library
What is sarsaparilla?
Sarsaparilla is a vine that bears roots with many useful properties. These vines have long prickly stems and shiny leaves, and numerous reddish-brown roots up to 3 m long. It 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.The common name Sarsaparilla includes the species Smilax ornata, Smilax glabra, Smilax regelii, Smilax febrifuga and Smilax aristolachiaefolia, which are used interchangeably with Smilax officinalis.
What is the effective dosage of Sarsaparilla supplementation?
The effective dosage for sarsaparilla is two or three times a day as a tea or a liquid extract. To make sarsaparilla tea, soak 1,000 mg to 4,000 mg (one gram to 4 grams) of chopped or shredded dried root for 10 minutes in about 8 ounces of hot water, and then filter before drinking. In its alcohol-based liquid supplement form it is recommended to take 2-3 teaspoons of sarsaparilla extract up to two or three times a day.It is common to find capsules containing powdered sarsaparilla root. It is also available in a number of combination oral herbal products. The recommended doses can differ according to manufacturer.
What are the benefits of Sarsaparilla supplementation?
• Sarsaparilla stimulates the production of reproductive hormones, and has tonic action on the sexual organs. Sarsaparilla helps to increase testosterone & progesterone levels in the body. It is used as an anabolic steroid replacement in natural body-building formulas.
• It contains steroidal saponins, such as sarsasapogenin.
• It is anti-inflammatory and cleansing, and can bring relief to skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and itchiness, and help treat rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
• Sarsaparilla also contains beta-sitosterol, a phytosterol, which may contribute to the anti-inflammatory property of this herb.
• It reduces fevers by helping cool down the body and promoting perspiration.
• It is especially good for removing heavy metallic contaminants form from the blood.
• It may also have slight diuretic, expectorant, and laxative effects.
What are the side effects of Sarsaparilla supplementation?
No major side effects have been reported from using oral or topical sarsaparilla in recommended amounts. Large doses for long periods of time are to be avoided. It can cause nausea and kidney disruption.
• Sarsaparilla is a mild gastric irritant due to its Saponin content.
• Since sarsaparilla can increase absorption and/or elimination of digitalis and bismuth, such combinations are contraindicated.
• In very rare cases, a few individuals who work in growing, processing, or packing sarsaparilla have developed asthma from breathing the dust.
• If injected into the blood, however, Saponins can dissolve red blood cells, which may result in serious effects that include death.