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Sarsaparilla (pronounced SAS-per-il-luh) (Smilax regelii and other closely related species of Smilax) is a perennial trailing vine with prickly stems native to tropical America and the West Indies. Its name comes from the Spanish words sarza for "shrub" and parilla for "little vine."http://www.1001herbs.com/sarsaparilla/
History Throughout history, Sarsaparilla has been used to cure syphilis. Native Americans used Saraparilla for its medical benefits also. The root of the plant is what is used in medicine.http://www.globalherbalsupplies.com/herb_information/sarsaparilla.htmIt contains active principle, Parillin (Smilacin), glucoside, sarsapic acid, sarsapogenin (related to progesterone and used in its synthesis), sarsaponin and starch http://www.globalherbalsupplies.com/herb_information/sarsaparilla.htm
Fatty Acids:palmitic acid
linolic acidOral remedy for psoriasishttp://www.drugdigest.org/DD/DVH/HerbsWho/0,3923,4129%7CSarsaparilla,00.html
The vine has a long prickly stem and shiny leaves, and numerous reddish-brown roots up to 3 meters long. Several species of Smilax are used in agriculture, but the Jamaican S. regelii (syn. S. officinalis) is the species preferred for commercial use. Sarsaparilla is also grown in Mexico, Central America and parts of South America. It is also grown in parts of South India, known in Telugu as Sugandhi-pala, in Kannada as sogade beru and in Tamil as Nannaari. The primary uses of sarsaparilla include the flavoring of beverages, and homeopathic medicine.Before processing, the roots are bitter, sticky, and have a strong odor. They are dried and boiled in order to produce the extract. In beverages, oil of wintergreen or other flavors may be added in order to mask the natural bitterness of the root. Root beer made from sarsaparilla roots is generally more "birchy" than the extract used in the more popular, commercial brands.A carbonated beverage, made from and called sarsaparilla, is available in many countries.http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1B1-377787.html
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