Joint Pain / Psoriasis / Aphrodisiac
Gout / Weight Loss / Stones / UTIs


Sarsaparilla Root
(Smilax aristolochiifolia Mill)

Code:SAR105 -- Price: $9.95
120 Capsules x 500 mg.

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Summarized Description: Sarsaparilla (spelled "Zarzaparilla" in Ecuador) is a plant medicine derived from the sarsaparilla root. It has a wide variety of medicinal uses: improves immune function, provides joint pain relief, assists with weight loss, treats psorisis, helps with anemia (sarsaparilla bark is high in iron) and skin issues, and increases sex drive.

Ethnobotanical Uses
Taylor reports that: "Argentinians use as antirheumatic, aphrodisiac, and diaphoretic. Brazilians use for acne, anorexia, arthritis, dermatosis, dyspepsia, eczema, fever, gallstones, gout, hives, impotence, kidney stones, leprosy, muscle weakness, nephrosis, oliguria, rheumatism, sores, sterility, and syphilis (RAI). Mexicans use for arthritis, burns, cancer, dermatosis, dyspepsia, eczema, fever, gonorrhea, inflammation, leprosy, nephrosis, oliguria, rash, rheumatism, scroflua, and syphilis. (RAI)
Dosage: One capsule, once a day, or as otherwise directed by your health care practitioner.

Warnings & Contraindications
"No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages." (PH2) Can cause nausea and kidney damage in large doses over long periods (SKY). Commission E reports for the root that gastric and renal toxicity as well as drug interactions are possible (with bismuth, digitalis, glycosides, and hypnotics)(KOM). Additionally, saponins can increase the availability of simultaneously administered drugs, while hastening the elimination of other drugs (i.e. hypnotics).(KOM)

Five years or more.

James Duke's Handbook of Medical Plants of Latin America
Medicinal Activities
Further information for practitioners: World-famous botanist Dr. James Duke attributes the following activities to this plant (p. 526-528; see hardcopy cover at right), drawn from the extant literature. (See his graduation for "level of efficacy" on our amazon traditionals page; followed by Duke's bibliographic abbreviations (in capital letters), which we identify on a separate page.)
Duke provides a "food farmacy potential" score for this plant of "FNFF=!!." (see below). "I'd feel safe with 10-30 g dry root in 3 cups tea or sarsaparilla/day (JAD). 3 cups tea/day (PH2), 6 tsp (-20 g) in cold tea (MAD); 1-2 tsp powdered root/cup water, up to 3x/day (APA); 1-4 g powdered root (PNC); 3-6 g dry root (PED); -.3-1.5 g root (HH2; PH2); 1-4 g dry rhizome, or in tea, 3x/day (CAN); 2 (450 mg) capsules, 2-3x/day (NH).
  • Alterative (f; PED; PNC)
  • Anabolic (1; APA)
  • Antiinflammatory (1; APA; SKY)
  • Antiitch (f; CAN; PNC)
  • Antirheumatic (f; PED; PNC)
  • Antiseptic (f; CAN, PNC);
  • Aphrodisiac (f; APA; CRC);
  • Bactericide (1; APA);
  • Bitter (f; PED);
  • Cardiosedative (f; MAD)
  • Depurative (f; APA; CRC; PED; RAI; USN)
  • Diaphoretic (f1; APA; CRC; KOM, PH2; USN)
  • Digestive (f; PED)
  • Diuretic (f1; APA, HH2, KOM, MAD, PH2, RAI)
  • Emetic (f; FEL)
  • Expectorant (1; APA)
  • Febrifuge (f; PED)
  • Fungicide (1; APA)
  • Hepatoprotective (1; RAI; SKY)
  • Immunomodulator (1; RAI)
  • Laxative (1; APA)
  • Memorigenic (f; RAI)
  • Sudorific (f; CRC)
  • Tonic (f; CRC; RAI; USN).

Further information for practitioners: Duke provides the following indications for this plant:
  • Acne (f1; RAI)
  • Alzheimer's (f; MAD)
  • Anorexia (f; MAD; RAI)
  • Arthritis (f1; APA; CRC; RAI; SKY)
  • Asthma (f; MAD)
  • Bacteria (1; APA)
  • Burns (f; RAI)
  • Caked Breast (f; MAD)
  • Cancer (f1; APA; CRC, JLH, RAI)
  • Cardiopathy (f; MAD)
  • Colds (f; RAI)
  • Colic (f; MAD)
  • Coma (f; MAD)
  • Congestion (1; APA)
  • Constipation (1; APA)
  • Coughs (f; RAI)
  • Cramps (f; MAD)
  • Cystosis (f; MAD)
  • Debility (f; RAI)
  • Dementia (f; RAI)
  • Dermatosis (f1; APA; CRC; KOM, PH2; RAI)
  • Dyscrasia (f; MAD)
  • Dysentery (f; PNC)
  • Dyspepsia (f; APA; CRC; RAI)
  • Eczema (f1; CRC; MAD; RAI; SKY)
  • Enterosis (1; APA)
  • Exanthem (f; MAD)
  • Fever (f1; APA, CRC, PED)
  • Fungus (1; APA)
  • Furuncles (1; HH2)
  • Gallstones (f; RAI)
  • Gas (f; MAD)
  • Gastrosis (1; APA)
  • Gonorrhea (f1; APA; CRC; FEL; RAI)
  • Gout (f; MAD; RAI)
  • Headache (f; MAD; RAI)
  • Hematuria (f; MAD)
  • Hepatosis (f1; FEL; MAD; RAI; SKY)
  • Herpes (f; MAD)
  • High Blood Pressure (f; RAI)
  • IBS (1; PED)
  • Impotence (f; APA; CRC; RAI)
  • Infection (f1; APA; CAN; PNC; RAI)
  • Inflammation (1; APA; PH2; SKY)
  • Itch (f; CAN; PH2; PNC)
  • Kidney Stones (f; RAI)
  • Leprosy (f1; CAN; CRC; RAI)
  • Leukorrhea (f; MAD)
  • Lupus (f; MAD)
  • Memory (f; RAI)
  • Nephrosis (f; CRC; KOM; MAD; PH2; RAI)
  • Oliguria (f; RAI)
  • Pain (f; RAI)
  • Psoriasis (f12; APA; KOM; PH2; PNC; RAI; SKY)
  • Pyelosis (f; MAD)
  • Rashes (f; RAI)
  • Rheumatism (f1; APA; CRC; MAD; PED; PH2; PNC; RAI; SKY)
  • Roseola (f; MAD)
  • Scabies (f; MAD)
  • Scrofula (f; CRC; MAD)
  • Sores (f; MAD)
  • Sore Throat (f; FEL)
  • Splenosis (f; MAD)
  • Stones (f; RAI)
  • Syphilis (f; APA; HH2, MAD; PNC; RAI; USN)
  • Tuberculosis (f; MAD)
  • Ulcers (f; MAD)
  • Urethrosis (f; PH2)
  • UTIs (1; APA)
  • VD (f; CRC; MAD; RAI)
  • Water Retention (f; MAD)
  • Wounds (f; CRC; USN)

To U.S. Users: This product have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Recent Studies on Sarsaparilla
Sourced from PubMed
Disclaimer: The following citations provide findings on the properties of Sarsaparilla. Please note that the primary species in Ecuador is Smilax aristolochiifolia, although its medicinal properties are nearly indistinguishable from Smilax ornata, Smilax officinalis, Smilax glabra and Smilax china. These posts offer insights into prospective areas of future research. These findings should not be inferred to provide the basis of medicinal claims, nor should they be relied upon by the public, as such. Readers who want full access to the PubMed database are encouraged to register with NCBI.
As of Jan. 2021, there were only a handful of citations covering the species. Below we list a few of the more notable:
Extensive information about Sarsaparilla is covered on the Raintree Forest website. Even better, you can purchase Leslie Taylor's excellent reference book, The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs: A Guide to Understanding and Using Herbal Medicinals at Amazon.
Sarsaparilla is described in Wikipedia.