Introduction of Sarsaparilla:Smilax root or Sarsaparilla root.
✵The article gives records of the herb Sarsaparilla, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source plant species, ①.Smilax officinalis., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Sarsaparilla, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
English Name: Sarsaparilla.
Latin Name: Smilax officinalis and related species, including Smilax regelii Killip et Morton(from Honduras),Smilax aristolochiaefolia Mill.(from Mexico),and Smilax fibrifuga Kunth(from Ecuador).
Common Names: Smilax root.
Property and flavor: specific odor.
Brief introduction: Sarsaparilla is a perennial vine native to tropical America and the West Indies. There are several related species. The medicinal preparations are made from dried rhizomes and roots.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Sarsaparilla as the dried rhizome and roots of the species (1).Smilax officinalis. It is a plant species of the Smilax genus, the Liliaceae family (lily family). The dried fruit and essential oil from the ripe fruit are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
Botanical description: Smilax officinalis is climbing shrubs; rhizomes are thick, hard, irregular lumps, 2~3 cm thick. Stems are 1~3 meters long, a few up to 5 meters, sparsely thorn. The leaves are thin leathery or hard-papery, usually reddish-brown or sub-bronze when dry, round, oval, or other shapes, 3~10 cm long, 1.5~6 cm wide, usually pale green in the lower part, less pale; petiole is 5~15 mm long, about 1/2-2/3 of the total length, the sheath is 0.5~1 mm wide, almost all tendrils, with few exceptions, the shedding point is located near the tendrils place.
Umbels grow on branchlets when leaves are still young, with a dozen or more flowers, often spherical; total pedicel is 1~2 cm long; inflorescence receptacles are slightly enlarged, nearly spherical, fewer and slightly elongated, with small bracts; flowers are greenish-yellow, outer tepals are 3.5~4.5 mm long, 1.5~2 mm wide, inner tepals are slightly narrow; anthers in male flowers are slightly wider than filaments, often curved; female flowers are similar in size to male flowers, with 6 pieces staminodes. The berries are 6~15 mm in diameter, red when ripe, and powdery.
There are two types of this kind of fruit, one is 12~15 mm in diameter, and the pericarp is easier to break after drying, and the other is 7~8 mm in diameter, and pericarp is not easy to break after drying. The flowering period is from February to May, and the fruiting period is from September to November.
Ecological environment: The plant grows under forests, thickets, roadsides, river valleys, or hillsides below 2,000 meters above sea level. The plant is indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of America and eastern Asia. In Europe, only the variety S aspera is found in the Mediterranean region.
Characters of herbs: The dried rhizome is slightly cylindrical, slightly curved, nodular, with irregular depressions. Length about 8~15 cm, diameter about 2~4 cm. The appearance is brownish-purple, slightly shiny, and the nodules are swollen often with hard root residues and bud marks, or leaving hard and curved thin roots. The texture of the rhizome is hard, difficult to break, yellow-brown in cross-section, flat.
Pharmacological actions: ①.laxative; ②.expectorant; ③.diuretic; ④.anti-inflammatory; ⑤. Inhibit fungi, etc.
Sarsaparilla contains saponins, it has laxative and expectorant properties, its saponin content exerts a significant diuretic effect, to promote sweating and cool down the body through increased sweating.
Sarsaparilla significantly inhibits inflammation in rats, and its use in treating arthritis, rheumatism, and other inflammatory diseases.
Studies found sarsaparilla fight fungi responsible for certain kinds of skin infections and bacteria responsible for gastrointestinal disorders.
Medicinal efficacy: Sarsaparilla was used traditionally by Americans in beer and soda pop, the drink had a widespread reputation as a "blood purifier", a euphemism for syphilis remedy. It was used by Central American Indians, Mexicans, and Hondurans to treat rheumatism, skin diseases, stomach upset and digestive disorders, fevers, and venereal diseases such as gonorrhea. It is recommended by today's herbalists to reduce arthritic swelling and pain and to treat psoriasis, as a strengthening and rejuvenating tonic, boosting sexual potency, etc. In folk medicine, sarsaparilla root preparations are used for skin diseases, psoriasis, rheumatic complaints, kidney diseases, and as a diuretic and diaphoretic. In homeopathy, smilax is used for itching skin rashes, rheumatism, and inflammation of the urinary tract.
Administration of Sarsaparilla (Smilax root):
Administration Guide of Sarsaparilla (Smilax root)
Herbal classic books:
Dosage: A decoction is prepared using 1 to 2 teaspoons of powdered root per cup of water and is drunk up to three times per day. The tincture is taken in doses of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon up to three times per day, powder 0.3 to 1.5 grams, tea 3 cups daily with meals, and decoction 1 to 5 grams 3 times daily.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Sarsaparilla is safe to use with the typically recommended dosage, as high doses can reportedly cause stomach and intestinal upset and unpleasant burning sensations in the mouth and throat.
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1.Introduction of Sarsaparilla:Smilax root or Sarsaparilla root.