Smilax officinalis

Sarsaparilla - Smilax officinalis (in the Liliaceae or Lily family)

Part used: Root.

Taste/smell: Soapy.

Tendencies: Drying.

Dosage: Decoction: 1-2 teaspoons per cup of water; or1:4 dry strength liquid extract: 10-40 drops 1-4 times per day.

Use: (a) Alterative, (b) Diuretic, (c) Diaphoretic, (d) Emetic.

Sarsaparilla is used in hormonal imbalances, psoriasis and rheumatism. It binds to bacterial endotoxins in the gut, prohibiting absorption. This action can effect many disease processes. It contains 1.8-2.4% steroid saponins, sarsaparilloside and smilasaponin, the glycosides of the steroids aglycone, sarsapogenin and isosarsapogenin, smilagenin and pollinastanol.

Contraindications: It is contraindicated in pregnancy.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.