A common drink in western TV shows, sarsaparilla, is a root with clusters of pointed oval leaves and berries of varying color, depending on where they grow. Sarsaparilla is used to make a carbonated soft drink initially formulated from the Central American smilax ornata plant. It’s one of many ingredients in root beer, but this unassuming root has many positive benefits to your health. From battling cancer and liver disease to helping you look younger by blocking free radicals, this root is a beneficial addition to your diet.
1. Anti-Cancer Benefits
Studies show that up to 24 extracts in the stems, leaves, fruit, and roots of wild sarsaparilla help naturally treat or prevent cancer. Some pharmaceutical benefits are garnered through a concentrated version of the plant found in natural saponins and steroids. It can help your body absorb herbs and other drugs. Sarsaparilla packs in five or more steroidal saponins. These include two recently discovered ones, called sarsaparilloside B and sarsaparilloside C. These saponins help kill cancer cells, especially those that affect the lining of the colon.
2. Antioxidant Acids
Sarsaparilla has dozens of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant acids, chemicals and oils that decrease oxidative stress and aging effects in the body. Studies at Peking University Cancer Hospital discovered that certain compounds in sarsaparilla, such as flavonoids, alkaloids, and phenylpropanoids, induce apoptosis, or cell growth inhibition. These major components in wild sarsaparilla can do so without damaging healthy cells.
3. Protects the Liver and Has Natural Diuretic, Detoxifying Abilities
Because sarsaparilla helps your body increase urine production and sweat more, it can be used to treat puffiness, fluid retention, swelling, and stomach bloating. Traditionally, sarsaparilla tea, made from the root, was believed to clean the blood, optimize liver function and filter out toxins from your body. Sarsaparilla can help detoxification through endotoxins, chemicals that are stored in cells and released into your bloodstream. Endotoxins can help with liver disease. Studies show the root fights liver damage and liver disease because it contains acids, antioxidants, and plant sterols.
4. Protects Against Free Radical Damage
Sarsaparilla also helps protect against free radicals. This reduces tissue damage due to inflammation. Some studies show chemical compounds, known as astilbin and smilagenin, protect from damage caused by free radicals in the body. A little sarsaparilla can help prevent cancer cells from proliferation and other problems caused by toxicity.
5. Lower Impotence
If you want to feel more romantic, consider sarsaparilla. Smilax Ornata is a natural hormone-balancing supplement or tincture that can improve your sex drive and lower impotence. Saponins and plant steroids in the root can improve our reproductive hormone health. The plant itself has no growth hormones. However, it helps regulate your body’s hormone production by reducing inflammation and improving liver function.
6. Lower Symptoms of Menopause
Sarsaparilla can help you reduce the menopause systems. Saponins are natural steroids that can lower symptoms of menopause and aging. You can incorporate it into your diet by drinking it as a tea or tincture. People use fenugreek to treat reproductive hormones and improve eyesight. It is also helpful for weight gain and muscle mass.
7. Treat Cough, Colds, and Flu
In tinctures and teas it can help treat coughs, colds and the flu. It raises immune barriers to keep you from getting stuck. Sarsaparilla has components that treat flu-like symptoms. It has mucolytic effects and inhibits a cough. While this treatment cannot alleviate bronchitis or chronic respiratory infections, it has a historical usage to reduce the frequency and intensity of coughing and mucus.
8. Lowers Nausea
The root’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds can break down mucus bonds and leave mucus less sticky. Consequently, it is easier to excrete bacteria and phlegm. When you get fevers and other viruses that lead to an upset stomach, sarsaparilla can be helpful because it lowers nausea and helps you regulate bowel function.
9. Treat Rashes
Sarsaparilla is an effective and safe traditional remedy for skin conditions, including eczema, pruritus, fungus, rashes, and wounds. Skin rashes, bites and bacterial infections often occur in developing and tropical countries.
10. Treat Psoriasis
Studies in the 1940s revealed sarsaparilla’s effectiveness as a topical treatment for psoriasis. Research shows that it improved the condition in 40 percent of patients. One study looked at the effects of over 100 plants used to treat infections. Used as a topical treatment, it can fight multiple skin conditions.