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Health Benefits of Sarsaparilla And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2022

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Sarsaparilla root is globally acclaimed for medicinal properties. Sarsaparilla has been used exensively to treat gout, gonorrhea, open wounds, arthritis, cough, fever, hypertension, pain, a lack of sexual desire, indigestion, and even certain forms of cancer. More serious conditions have also been treated with sarsaparilla root.

In the Amazon region, some tribal people used it as a treatment for leprosy by ingesting it as well as using it externally.Europeans used the root to facilitate sweating and urination as well as to purify blood.


Sarsaparilla,scientific name of Smilax regelii, can grow in a number of forms, including evergreen shrubs, deciduous trees, and hanging vines, and they typically have clusters of red or purple berries. The climbing, woody tropical vine grows deep in the canopy of the rainforest. The berries of sarsaparilla have various colors like lustrous black, purple-blue and red.

Nutritional Value of Sarsaparilla

Numerous active chemical properties have been identified within sarsaparilla, including strong antioxidants, along with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds include Saponins,plant sterols,flavonoid, antioxidants, steroidal/anti-inflammatory phytochemicals like diosgenin, tigogenin and asperagenin,starch, volatile oils and acids.

Other nutritional components in Sarsaparilla includes minerals such as aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, selenium, calcium and zinc.

Summary- The nutritional value of Sarsaparilla is quite high. It includes antioxidants, minerals, starch, acids, etc.

Health Benefits of Sarsaparilla

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Sarsaparilla. You can use this amazing herb in different forms such as Sarsaparilla powder, raw Sarsaparilla herb, and also used in various teas. If you are suffering from one of these health issues such as PCOS, urinary tract infection, acne, kidney stone, and fibroids then you can use sarsaparilla to treat problems.

Also, check out when not to consume Sarsaparilla in various conditions and common side effects of consuming this herb. We also discuss cultivation details of this amazing herb.

Anti-Tumor and Cancer-Preventative Properties of Sarsaparilla

The presence of antioxidants in the root and extract of sarsaparilla has been very useful for cancer treatment. The high concentration of natural steroids and saponins reduce the multiplication and spread of cancerous cells. Antioxidants present in sarsaparilla are able to neutralize free radicals, the cancer-causing byproducts of cellular respiration.

Summary- Sarsaparilla contains a significant amount of antioxidants which is responsible for its anti-cancerous properties.

Sarsaparilla Helps in Treating Arthritis Pains

Sarsaparilla root contains various compounds, such as saponins, parillin, and other flavonoids that can pacify those flare-ups within the body and alleviate pain and discomfort associated with it.

Any sort of inflammatory issue, such as gout, arthritis, or even aching muscles and joints can be cured by the active ingredients of sarsaparilla herb.

Summary- Certain important compounds like saponins and parillin are present in the roots of the sarsaparilla. They help to heal pain and inflammation related to arthritis.

Sarsaparilla Boost Immune System

The natural antibacterial properties of sarsaparilla berries and the compounds in the roots increase the strength of our immune system. Sarsaparilla is often used to arrest seasonal colds and flu from occurring and also to cure symptoms including coughs, respiratory difficulties and fevers. It boosts the proper functioning of the immune system.

Sarsaparilla supplements and teas are used to help treat the common symptoms of colds and flu by eliminating the build up of mucus in the sinuses and respiratory system.It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help loosen phlegm and mucus allowing it to pass from a person’s body more easily.

Summary- Certain important compounds like saponins and parillin are present in the roots of the sarsaparilla. They help to heal pain and inflammation related to arthritis.

Sarsaparilla Increases Sex Drive

Sarsaparilla is used to increase the libido of men and women to increase fertility. Some of the organic compounds present in this root extract enhances blood flow and boosts sperm motility, thereby increasing the chances of conception and improving overall sex drive.

Summary- Sarsaparilla helps to boost the sexual life of people. It increases conception chances and improves overall sex drive.

Sarsaparilla Detoxifying Your Body

Sarsaparilla possesses diuretic properties. It can stimulate the production of urine and promote sweating. This is useful to relieve any build-up of fluid, puffiness and swelling.Sarsaparilla promotes the detox process by binding to toxins like bacterial cells in the gastrointestinal tract which prevents them from doing damage in the blood stream.

Summary- Sarsaparilla helps to eliminate toxic elements of the body. It supports blood purification too.

Sarsaparilla for skin problems

Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of sarsaparilla is an effective natural remedy for eczema, acne, psoriasis, bites, minor wounds and rashes. Sarsaparilla plant is also used in homeopathic treatment for skin problems such as itchiness and dry skin.

Summary- Among all the benefits of Sarsaparilla, its benefits for the skin is noteworthy. It prevents itchiness and dryness along with certain skin disorders.

Benefits of Sarsaparilla for Weight Loss

Sarsaparilla root is able to suppress appetite and thus help a person to curb undesired hunger. It indirectly helps to shred off weight without cheating on the diet.

Summary- Sarsaparilla also aids weight management. It regulates the appetite of people.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Sarsaparilla

Overdose or long-term use of sarsaparilla can result in some allergic reactions. These are-

  • Consuming large amounts of saponins, which are included in sarsaparilla, can induce stomach irritation; some people may also have stomach discomfort, diarrhoea, and indigestion.
  • Sarsaparilla dust, the herb's powdered form, or "sarsaparilla dust," may cause allergic reactions in certain people. Some patients' asthma symptoms may worsen as a result.

Summary- Besides all the benefits of Sarsaparilla, it leads to some side effects too. Upset stomach, diarrhea, and asthma are some of the common issues caused by it.

Cultivation of Sarsaparilla

Sarsaparilla is a prickly vine which is native to South America, central America and the Caribbean. During the 1950s, sarsaparilla was widely used in Europe for its medicinal values as a general tonic to purify the blood and also to promote sweating. Sarsaparilla plants are typically woody or thorny and are most abundant in tropical, warm, and temperate regions around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best way to take sarsaparilla?

Generally, the root of Sarsaparilla is taken to alleviate several problems like arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, etc.

Does sarsaparilla have estrogen?

Not really, but Sarsaparilla contains Saponins that mimic estrogen.

What does Sarsaparilla do to the body?

Sarsaparilla is a nutrient-packed plant. It enhances the overall health of the person.

How many mg of sarsaparilla should I take?

It is advised to take 1-4 grams of dried root of Sarsaparilla, while in liquid form it can be taken 8-15ml.


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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
    Reviewed By
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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