Sarsaparilla: all its properties and health benefits

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Many of the plants that exist throughout the world have useful characteristics for health. Some do so through their fruits, others through their branches or leaves and, in the case of others, through their roots. Within this last group we find sarsaparilla.

What is sarsaparilla? What are its most beneficial properties for the body? What are its health benefits? Let’s see the answers right away.

What is sarsaparilla?

  • Scientificname: Smilax aspera
  • Family: Smilacaceae
  • Species: S. aspera; L. 1753
  • Class: Liliopsida
  • Division: Magnoliophyta

When we talk about sarsaparilla, we refer to a shrub native to America and Spain. This plant belongs to the smilacaceae family. It is easy to recognize it thanks to the color of its flowers, creamy yellow, as well as the characteristics of its fruits, berry-shaped and highly toxic.

The use of this plant for medical purposes began in Greece. Nowadays, it can be found in different parts of the world, being its roots the most useful to obtain each of its medicinal properties.

Properties of sarsaparilla

The reason why sarsaparilla is so appreciated has to do with the properties it possesses in its roots. Let’s see some of them.

  • Expectorant. The high content of sarsapogenin contributes to this capacity, besides being depurative.
  • Regulating. Thanks to the presence of choline, it is able to act as a natural regulator of the nervous system.
  • Hypotensive. Thanks to oleic acid, it helps to control blood pressure.

In addition to those mentioned above, it has the capacity to be anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac and depurative thanks to the oils and other minerals it contains

Sarsaparilla health benefits

There are many benefits offered by the consumption of sarsaparilla. Some of these are pointed out by Dr. Charles D. C., who is a nutritionist with many years of experience.

Prevents the body from retaining fluids

Fluid retention can affect health considerably. That is why the use of sarsaparilla is recommended. Thanks to its diuretic property, it is able to reduce the amount of fluid in the body. It achieves this by helping the body to naturally expel retained fluid

That is why, after using sarsaparilla, it is normal that the person sweats more than usual, or must use the bathroom more frequently. This eliminates symptoms such as swelling and kidney ailments.

Reduces arthritis symptoms

One of the main problems caused by arthritis is the accumulation of substances in the joints, damaging the area, causing inflammation and pain. But, if sarsaparilla is used, it is possible to reduce the amount of fluid and other substances in these parts of the body, minimizing the symptoms. In the case of some people, these symptoms have disappeared for several days.

Eliminates affections in the kidneys

Because it promotes the evacuation of urine, with sarsaparilla you can eliminate any foreign and harmful element that is in the urinary tract. It also helps to remove any infection, thanks to its antiseptic properties.

One of the greatest benefits has to do with the elimination of calculus in the kidneys, causing them to be expelled and eliminated in a natural way.

Helps cleanse the body

The accumulation of toxins in the body is normal, as long as their levels are not too high. To prevent them from increasing too much, the consumption of sarsaparilla in infusion is recommended. Thanks to its depurative properties, it allows toxins to be carried to the urine, causing them to be expelled from the body.

This effect also influences weight loss, although it should be combined with a good exercise routine and proper nutrition.

Helps reduce acne

The appearance of acne is related to the accumulation of toxins in the body, especially in the face area. As we have already mentioned in this article, sarsaparilla eliminates toxins. That depurative effect brings many benefits, being the elimination of acne one of them. In addition, it serves to prevent the appearance of this kind of ailments.

Risks and contraindications of sarsaparilla

The use of sarsaparilla for medical purposes does not represent any risk, as long as it complies with the recommendations of experts. Belén Julve, who has years of experience in natural medicine and homeopathy, points out some of these suggestions.

  • Duration of treatment. Although it is effective, prolonged use is not recommended because it can affect some organs of the body.
  • Amount to use. A high dose can also be harmful to the body, so the dose should always be low
  • In people with hypertension or kidney problems. In this case, it can be used under strict medical supervision.
  • Risk of intoxication. If the root is used, there is no risk of poisoning, but if the berries are consumed, there is. These are highly toxic.

Some of the symptoms of using sarsaparilla in the wrong way can be skin reactions, pain in the abdominal area, dizziness, among others. If these symptoms are present, it is necessary to see a doctor as soon as possible.

The homeopathy expert mentioned above also highlights the groups of people who should not use sarsaparilla

  • Pregnant women. The consumption of sarsaparilla, even when moderate, can cause miscarriage. Likewise, it should be completely avoided during breastfeeding.
  • People with stomach ailments. It could cause a major irritation in this area of the body.
  • People with kidney diseases. Those who suffer from nephritis, or any similar condition, should abstain from its consumption because it could aggravate the symptoms.

In case of doubts about the safety of its consumption, it is better to wait until a complete medical evaluation is performed. This will allow knowing if the consumption of this product is adequate or not. Similarly, both the dosage and the duration of its consumption should always be respected.

Sarsaparilla can help a lot to counteract conditions, and even prevent some of them. That is why it has become a plant highly valued by all.

German Fuertes Otero
German Fuertes Otero
CEO at M.D. from Stanford Medicine: Stanford, California, US, M.Sc. from University of Cambridge: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK and University of Oxford: Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK. PhD at Harvard University Harvard Catalyst: Cambridge, MA, US.

Aunque pueda contener afirmaciones, datos o apuntes procedentes de instituciones o profesionales sanitarios y la información contenida en PharmaSalud esté redactada por profesionales en medicina, recomendamos al lector que cualquier duda relacionada con la salud sea consultada con un profesional del ámbito sanitario.

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