English Name: Sarsaparilla
Latin Name: Smilax ornata
What is Sarsaparilla?
Sarsaparilla is a vine that can grow up to 164 feet long and is native to North and South America.91,92 The leaves are green and contain multiple converging striations and an oval shape. The flowers are green and white with long fibers that fan out to create a starburst-like effect.
Sarsaparilla is sometimes used in soft drinks like root beer, and a type of soft drink bearing the plant’s name was created.93,94 One species of this herb is popular in Jamaica, where it is viewed as an aphrodisiac and is called Jamaican sarsaparilla.95,96
Medicinal Uses of Sarsaparilla
Sarsaparilla is said to be classified among phytosterols, plant compounds that have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol in people.97,98 This herb also contains saponin, a compound that scientists have found to be useful against the fungus, Candida albicans.99,100
Photos of Sarsaparilla
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