Smilax ornata

Sarsaparilla, used for sexual impotence, rheumatism, skin ailments, and a tonic for physical weakness.  European physicians consider it an alterative tonic, blood purifier, diuretic and diaphoretic.Sarsaparilla has been used for centuries by the indigenous peoples of Central and South America for sexual impotence, rheumatism, skin ailment, and a tonic for physical weakness. Sarsaparilla root was used by South American indigenous tribes as a general tonic where New World traders found it and introduced it into European medicine in the 1400's. European physicians considered it an alterative tonic, blood purifier, diuretic and diaphoretic.

Sarsaparilla root was introduced into European medicine in 1536, where it developed a strong following as a cure for syphilis and rheumatism. Since this time, the Smilax genus has a long history of use for syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases throughout the world. With its reputation as a blood purifier, it was registered as an official herb in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as a syphilis treatment from 1820 to 1910. From the 1500's to present, Sarsaparilla is used as a blood purifier and general tonic, and has been used all over the world for the same conditions, namely gout, syphilis, gonorrhea, wounds, arthritis, fevers, coughs, scrofula, hypertension, digestive disorders, psoriasis, skin disease, cancer and as a tonic.

The sarsaparilla plant was first recognized as a pain relief treatment in Peru, where the vine's extract was used for headaches, joint pain and ailments associated with the common cold. Additionally, the sarsaparilla plant has been used both internally and externally for leprosy and other skin problems, including psoriasis and dermatitis.

In addition to external uses, the flavonoids in sarsaparilla have been documented to have immune modulation and even live protective activities. A patent was granted in the U.S. in association with sarsaparilla's apparent effectiveness in treating autoimmune diseases and inflammatory reactions using immunomodulating effects.

The patent includes animal studies that also showed smilagenin ' part of the sarsaparilla plant -  reversed the decline of brain receptors in aged mice and restored the receptor levels to those observed in young ones. The animal research also showed that these mice had a reversal in the decline in cognitive function, and enhanced memory and learning. Results of these studies have only been published in the context of the patent so far, and have not yet appeared in any peer-reviewed journals.

Sarsaparilla is now available in a variety of tablets, capsules and tincture products in many modern natural and health food stores. In addition, sarsaparilla is found as a component ingredient in various herbal remedies made for skin disorders, libido enhancement, hormone balancing and even sports nutrition formulas.

"This herb is one of nature's many replacements for COX-2 inhibitor drugs like Vioxx," said Mike Adams, a holistic nutritionist and proponent of natural medicine. "It reduces inflammation naturally, and unlike prescription drugs, it won't cause you to have a heart attack and die. That's important to some consumers and even a few doctors," Adams said.

Aluminum, Ash, Beta-sitosterol, Calcium, Cetyl-alcohol , Chromium, Cobalt, EO, Epsilon-sitosterol, Glucose, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Parigenin, Parillin, Phosphorus, Pollinastanol, Potassium, Resin, Saponin, Sarasaponin, Sarsaparilloside, Sarsaponin, Sarsasapogenin, Selenium, Silicon, Sitosterol-d-glucoside, Smilagenin, Smilasaponin, Stigmasterol, Tin, Zinc

Little Herb Encyclopedia, by Jack Ritchason; N.D., Woodland Publishing Incorporated, 1995
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania 1987
The Ultimate Healing System, Course Manual, Copyright 1985, Don Lepore
The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Published by Dorling Kindersley





Important Note:
The information presented herein by The Natural Path Botanicals is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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