Sarsaparilla Root Benefits
par Kobie Babb
Sarsaparilla root benefits are what legends are made of. Sarsaparilla is found in the tropical, woody vines in Mexico, South America, Honduras, and the West Indies. Sarsaparilla root has been used for centuries primary as a detoxifier for the blood, but it's also diuretic, and it promotes sweat. It is known through out the world by many different names. Some of those names include Liseron Epineux, Liseron piquant, Salsaparilla, and Zarsaparrilla just to name a few. It's full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which most of its healing powers come from. It's probably best known for its tonic affect on the blood, but this is definitely not where the benefits end. It boost the immune system, helps with weight loss, helps detoxify the body, relieves digestive problems, increases muscle mass, protects the liver and kidney, it is anti-cancerous, and it also increases sex drive. This is just a few of the benefits, but lets get into them.
Sarsaparilla may be best known for its positive effect on libido and performance in general. It has saponins which mimic the effect of certain reproductive hormones including testosterone and estrogen. This helps with impotence and low libido. These saponins also help with lowering symptoms of menopause and aging. Sarsaparilla has phytosterols that helps to boost testosterone, which also helps with muscle growth and athletic performance. Sarsaparilla is used by many body builders and athletes. Sarsaparilla detoxifying effect on the blood helps oxygen to travel through the blood stream more efficiently. This helps with stamina, endurance, and libido(libido is all about blood flow) on a whole.
Sarsaparilla, as mentioned earlier, is full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Saponin has both an antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory affect on the body. It helps to reduce joint pain, skin itching, and also kills bacteria. It dramatically improved skin lesions in psoriasis patients. Saponin also acts as a synergist by increasing the absorption of other herbs as well. Sarsaparilla contains 2% steroidal saponins including sarsaponin, smilasaponin (smilacin), sarsaparilloside, sarsaponin parillin, and smilagenin. Sarsaponin binds to endotoxins responsible for the lesions and removes them from the body. These potent anti-inflammatories are also good for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as gout.
Sarsaparilla is also good for treating leprosy and syphilis. Sarsaparilla has high antimicrobial activity. Over 60 different phenolic compounds have been found in sarsaparilla. 18 of the compounds were found to have antimicrobial effects against bacteria, as well as one compound that was found to be anti-fungal. Along with that, sarsaparilla also has an anti-cancerous and anti-tumorous affect on the body. These effects have been especially noticed in breast cancer tumors and liver cancer. Studies have shown that it can stop cancer from spreading by inhibiting signals of transforming growth factor - beta 1. The flavonoids, alkaloids, and phenylpropanoids found within sarsaparilla induces apoptosis as well has a growth inhibitory effect while leaving healthy cells un bothered.
Sarsaparilla is also found to be useful for protecting the kidney and the liver. It increases urine and sweat output, which is good for both the liver as well as the kidney. The compound flavonoid helps to reverse liver damage. One of the most important flavonoids is called astilbin. Astilbin along with smilagenin helps to protect the liver, as well as fights the growth of cancer cells and other problems associated with toxicity. These flavonoids, which are usually found in bright colored fruits and berries, are linked to longevity. They are essential for skin and immune health. They also reduce inflammation. Astilbin also inhibits a process that is dangerous to the kidney of people with abnormally high uric acid in their blood. High levels of uric acid can cause kidney damage. Astilbin also combats oxidative stress, which protects the kidney. This inhibition of oxidative stress also slows some of the processes associated with aging, and also protects collagen production from sun damage.
The phytosterols found with in sarsaparilla have shown to help with gut, heart, and digestive health. These phytosterols include sitosterol and stigmasterol. Other steroidal and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals include diosgenin, and asperagenin. They make endotoxins less absorbable within the gut. This helps with tissue damage caused by free radicals and inflammatory response. It helps soothe cough, fever, and colds. Sarsaparilla also treats coughs by its mucolytic and inhibitory effects on the cough reflex. Its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds makes mucus less sticky, and breaks mucus bonds. Phlegm, and bacteria are able to pass through the body easier. It helps to lower mucus as well as helps to regulate bowel function.
Other volatile oils and acids that exist within sarsaparilla include caffeoylshikimic acid, shikimic acid, ferulic acid, sarsapic acid, kaempferol, and quercetin. Trace minerals include aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, selenium, calcium, and zinc.
There are no known side effects to sarsaparilla, but we all should know that too much of one thing is usually no good for you. Large amounts of sarsaparilla can cause stomach irritation, but that's about it, so enjoy the wonderful benefits of sarsaparilla. You wont regret it!
We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.