Sarsaparilla (Smilax officinalis)




Wild Sarsaparilla Root

There are several species of Sarsaparilla (Smilax officinalis) that are indigenous to Central America, southern Mexico, northern South America, and such West Indian islands as Jamaica. The name Sarsaparilla is derived from the Spanish zarza (shrub) and parrilla (little vine), known in the south as a bamboo brier. Aralia racemosa, American Sarsaparilla, is a member of the ginseng family.

Sarsaparilla root has been used for centuries by the indigenous peoples of Central and South America for sexual impotence, rheumatism, skin ailments, and as a general tonic for physical weakness. Sarsaparilla has long been used by tribes in Peru and Honduras for headaches and joint pain, and against the common cold.

The Sarsaparilla of commercial use consists of very long roots having a thick bark of a grayish or brownish color, with many slender rootlets, deeply furrowed longitudinally. When cut, sections show a brown, hard bark with a porous center portion. The Sarsaparilla roots that have a deep orange tint are the best, and the stronger the acrid and nauseous qualities the better are the properties of the root. Height 1–2 feet, bearing several bunches of yellowish green flowers, followed by clusters of small berries resembling, to some extent, the common elderberry.

Sarsaparilla Root Chemicals

Chemically we know Sarsaparilla root contains salseparin, a coloring matter; starch; chloride of potassium; essential oil, basserin; albumin; and pectic and acetic acids; and the several salts of lime, potash, magnesium, and oxide of iron. Sarsaparilla taste is mucilaginous, with scarcely any odor.

Alfred Metraus, Swedish anthropologist, found Amazon Indians using Sarsaparilla to cure general debilities, and he said that it was invigorating to the entire system. Indian hunting expeditions subsisted for long periods on Sarsaparilla root. In the mid-1800s Sarsaparilla was something of a national phenomenon in the United States as a spring tonic to eliminate poisons from the blood and purify the system from all leftover infections of winter. Sarsaparilla is dependably useful in rheumatism, gout, skin eruptions, ringworm, scrofula, internal inflammation, colds, catarrh, fever, and to relieve gas from stomach and bowels.

Sarsaparilla Tea Benefits

When in need of an excellent antidote for deadly poisons, cleanse stomach with an emetic, causing vomiting, and drink copiously of the tea. As an alterative tea, Sarsaparilla is best prepared with burdock (Arctium lappa). Sarsaparilla is one of the best herbs to use for infants infected with venereal diseases. They can be cleaned without the use of mercurials. Also, wash the pustules of sores with a tea made of Sarsaparilla root and administer inwardly by mixing the powdered root with food.

RUSSIAN EXPERIENCE: In the Russian Far East a shrub known as Aralia Manchuria Sarsaparilla is used as a general tonic of nastoika (with vodka) for physical and mental exhaustion.

INDIAN AND PAKISTANI EXPERIENCE: Known as country Sarsaparilla, or Indian Sarsaparilla, it grows in many parts of India and Pakistan. The roots are considered a substitute for American sarsaparilla. Bodily influence: Demulcent, alterative, blood purifier, diuretic, tonic, diaphoretic. Sarsaparilla Uses: As an appetizer and for dyspepsia, fever, skin diseases, syphilis, leukorrhea, diseases of the genitourinary tract, chronic cough, etc. Dose: Powdered roots, 10–60 grains with plant-based milk. Also used as syrup and decoctions from the Sarsaparilla root. Externally: Ointment for swelling, rheumatic pains, boils, carbuncles.


Other benefits:

Water retention


Origin: South America

Ingredients: Wild harvested Sarsaparilla 

Parts Used: Root 

Forms: Two ounces of powder or 60 vegetable capsules (550-600 mg).

How to use:

Powder: Take one tsp of dried powder in 8 oz. of favorite juice or smoothie, two times a day.

Capsules: Take 2-4 capsules twice a day with water or a favorite beverage.


The gel caps we use are Vegicaps (vegetable) and are all natural. No Animal By-Products, Starch Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Preservative Free, Ethylene Oxide and Sulfite FREE!

Legal Information: The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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