Sarsaparilla is a type of tropical plant originating from the genus Smilax. This plant is widely grown in the rainforests of South America, Jamaica, the Caribbean islands, Mexico, and Honduras. Many of these roots are made into drinks like tea that have a sweet spicy taste with a fresh aroma. For hundreds of years, these plant roots have also been used often as traditional medicine to treat various digestive problems, fever, arthritis, and skin.
Benefits of sarsaparilla for health
Sarsaparilla is known to contain many ingredients that are thought to have benefits for the health of the human body. One of the substances contained in it is saponin, a steroid compound that can stimulate the body to produce its own steroids. Sarsaparilla also contains quercetin, an antioxidant that is useful in protecting the body from damaging free radicals. In addition, Sarsaparilla is also known to provide the following benefits in health.
1. Overcoming psoriasis
The ability of sarsaparilla roots to treat psoriasis has been known for decades. A study shows that sarsaparilla can provide significant changes in skin disorders of psoriasis sufferers. The researchers suspect that the content of sarsaponin contained in sarsaparilla can bind the poisons that cause psoriasis and remove it from the body.
2. Reducing joint pain
Sarsaparilla is known as a potent anti-inflammatory. This makes sarsaparilla very useful as a therapy for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism and swelling due to gout.
3. Helps treat syphilis and leprosy
Sarsaparilla is known to be able to fight various types of bacteria and other microorganisms that harm the body. Although not functioning as well as modern antibiotics and antifungals, sarsaparilla has been used for centuries to treat diseases such as leprosy and syphilis.
The scientists examined more than 60 compounds contained in sarsaparilla and tested them on six types of bacteria and one type of fungus. As a result, there are 18 compounds that successfully function as antimicrobials and 1 compound that can eliminate fungi.
4. As anti-cancer
Recent research shows that sarsaparilla has an anti-cancer content in cancer cells taken from mice. Other studies conducted outside humans show that sarsaparilla has an anti-tumor component to breast cancer and liver cancer. Of course further research is still needed to find out whether sarsaparilla can be used to prevent and treat cancer.
5. Protect the heart
Sarsaparilla is also known to have a content that can protect the liver. A study conducted on mice showed that compounds containing many flavonoids in sarsaparilla can repair liver damage and restore function.
6. Increase the work of other supplements
Sarsaparilla is often used as a mixture in herbal medicine because of its 'synergy' effect. The saponin content in it is estimated to increase the work and absorption of other herbal medicines.
7. Improve memory
A study in China showed that a substance contained in sarsaparilla can help improve memory. This content is known as sarsasapogenin. When this substance is taken to the experimental cucumber, the results show that there is an increase in learning ability and memory in the rat brain. Although human studies have not been conducted, these herbal teas are believed to help improve concentration and memory.
Sarsaparilla side effects
It is not certain that sarsaparilla has side effects. However, consuming large amounts of saponins can cause stomach irritation. Sarsaparilla may also have interactions with certain drugs, as mentioned earlier, sarsaparilla can increase the absorption of other drugs in the body.
There are no studies on the effects of sarsaparilla on pregnant and lactating women. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it's a good idea to avoid consuming these herbs.
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