There’s an herbal remedy that’s been used by native populations in Central and South America for thousands for years, shown to help relieve a wide range of problems from skin dermatitis to coughs. Starting in around the 1950s, European physicians considered sarsaparilla root a “tonic, blood purifier, diuretic and sweat promoter” that could help treat serious, even life-threatening infections, such as leprosy or cancer.
Today, sarsaparilla products go by many different names depending on exactly which roots or plants are used to make the product, how they’re prepared, and what part of the world they come from. Other common names for sarsaparilla include Smilax, Honduran sarsaparilla, Jamaican sarsaparilla and zarzaparilla. While it’s no longer used to treat skin infections from tropical bugs, leprosy or syphilis, sarsaparilla can commonly still be found in herbal preparations for balancing hormones, lowering fluid retention and improving overall immune function.
Sarsaparilla Nutrition Facts
What is sarsaparilla exactly? Sarsaparilla (which has the species names Smilax Ornata, Smilax regelii or Smilax officinalis) is technically a perennial vine that grows in warm temperatures, such as those in the southern most states of the U.S. or Central and South America. The plant is a member of the Liliaceae (lily) group of vines in the plant family called Smilacaceae, which includes over 300 different plant species. (1)
Sarsaparilla vines can grow very long (sometimes up to eight feet), have starchy, edible roots, and produce small berries that are edible for both humans and animals, especially birds. Although the roots are much more often used to make remedies today than the berries are, the berries and leaves can also be consumed for their benefits, effects and mild taste.
In fact, in the the past, sarsaparilla plants, roots, vines and berries were all used in various ways to create beverages, fermented snacks and other treats that were enjoyed in places like India and Latin America. Sarsaparilla is actually the name for a type of soft drink (similar to root beer) that’s flavored with the root of the plant — although the soft drink doesn’t have the same benefits as real sarsaparilla teas or tinctures do, of course.
In herbal medicine practices, sarsaparilla plant roots are ground up and used to make natural remedies (tinctures, teas, supplements, etc.) that help treat some of the following health problems:
- Cancer and tumor growth
- Coughs and colds
- Rheumatoid arthritis pains, joint pain or rheumatism
- Skin problems, including psoriasis, toe fungus, wounds, ulcers and ringworm
- Muscle pains or weakness
- Low libido and sexual impotence
- Liver damage
- Infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea
- Bloating/fluid retention
- Overheating and fevers
What gives sarsaparilla its healing abilities? Researchers have identified numerous active chemical properties within sarsaparilla, including strong antioxidants, along with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory compounds. These include: (2)
- Saponins: Anti-inflammatory chemical compounds that taste bitter and help kill fungus, bacteria, cancer cells and harmful microbes. Saponins also naturally mimic effects of certain reproductive hormones associated with youthful characteristics, including testosterone and estrogen. Sarsaparilla contains approximately 2 percent steroidal saponins, including sarsaponin, smilasaponin (smilacin), sarsaparilloside, sarsasaponin parillin and smilagenin.
- Plant sterols: Found in many high-fiber plant foods and shown to benefit gut health, heart health and digestive health. Phytosterols within sarsaparilla include sitosterol, stigmasterol and pollinastano.
- Flavonoid antioxidants: Found in brightly colored fruits and veggies, such as berries, and linked to longevity, reduced inflammation, skin health, eye health and improved immune function. One of the most important flavonoids found within sarsaparilla is called astilbin.
- Other steroidal/anti-inflammatory phytochemicals: These include diosgenin, tigogenin and asperagenin.
- Starch: The root is about 50 percent starch and when eaten provides fiber and other nutrients.
- Volatile oils and acids: Including caffeoylshikimic acid, shikimic acid, ferulic acid, sarsapic acid, kaempferol and quercetin.
- Trace minerals: Including aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, selenium, calcium and zinc.
Benefits of Sarsaparilla
1. Contains Anti-Tumor and Cancer-Preventative Properties
Certain studies have found evidence of at least 24 extracts obtained within the roots, stems, leaves and fruits of wild sarsaparilla plants that help naturally treat or prevent cancer. (3) The majority of the pharmacological benefits are attributed to its concentration of natural steroids and saponins, which help with the absorption of other drugs or herbs, reduce inflammatory effects, and have other anti-aging properties.
According to research done at the University of Queensland in Australia, sarsaparilla contains at least five steroidal saponins, including two newly discovered furostanol saponins known as sarsaparilloside B and sarsaparilloside C. These saponins have been found to have antiproliferative activities that help to kill cancer cells, especially those that affect the lining of the colon. (4)
Sarsaparilla also contains dozens of other anti-inflammatory, antioxidant acids, oils and chemicals that lower oxidative stress and have anti-aging effects. Studies conducted at Peking University Cancer Hospital and Institute in China found that flavonoids, alkaloids and phenylpropanoids were some of the major bioactive components identified within wild sarsaparilla that induce apoptosis and have growth-inhibitory effects without damaging healthy cells. (5)
2. Protects the Liver and Has Natural Diuretic, Detoxifying Abilities
Because sarsaparilla helps promote urine production and improve perspiration, it can be helpful for relieving fluid retention, puffiness, or swelling and stomach bloating. Traditionally, teas made from sarsaparilla root were also used to “clean the blood,” improve liver function and remove toxins from the body.
Research shows that one way sarsaparilla might help improve detoxification is through binding to “endotoxins” within the GI tract, which are chemicals stored inside cells (especially bacterial cells) that are released into the bloodstream and contribute to problems like liver disease, psoriasis, fevers and inflammatory processes. Studies have found that sarsaparilla has hepatoprotective effects (fighting liver damage and liver disease) due to its antioxidants, acids and plant sterols. (6)
These compounds found within medicinal herbs can serve as important therapeutic agents for ridding the body of endotoxins by making them less absorbable within the gut. This ultimately helps with controlling tissue damage caused by free radical damageand inflammatory responses. (7) Certain studies have found that chemical compounds called astilbin (types of flavonoids) and smilagenin (types of saponin) help protect liver cells and are useful in preventing liver disease, growth of cancer cells and other problems associated with toxicity. (8)
3. Promotes Hormonal Balance
Smilax Ornata is a common ingredient in natural hormone-balancing supplements or tinctures due to its ability to improve libido and lower impotence. Research suggests that saponins and plant steroids found within sarsaparilla might help mimic the effects of natural reproductive hormones and growth steroids, including estrogen and testosterone. The plant itself does not contain growth hormones but can help regulate hormone production by reducing inflammation and improving liver function.
Some even call saponins “natural steroids” for their ability to help lower symptoms of menopause and aging. Other herbal remedies containing saponins, such as fenugreek, are commonly used to reduce effects due to declining reproductive hormones, such as weight gain, impotence, loss of muscle mass, weakening bones and other side effects. (9)
4. Helps Soothe Coughs, Fevers and Colds
Sarsaparilla tinctures, teas and supplements are used to help treat coughs, colds and the flu in several ways, including preventing them from occurring in the first place by raising immune function and killing bacteria. They also treat symptoms themselves through mucolytic effects and/or inhibitory effects on cough reflexes. While herbal treatments cannot always help treat serious problems like bronchitis or chronic respiratory infections, throughout history they’ve often been useful for reducing the frequency and/or intensity of coughing and also increasing mucus clearance. (10)
Due to the effects that sarsaparilla’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds have on breaking mucus bonds and making mucus less sticky, phlegm and bacteria are able to be passed out of the body more easily. In the case of fevers or other viruses that cause upset stomach, sarsaparilla is sometimes helpful for lowering nausea and helping regulate bowel function. (11)
5. Naturally Treats Skin Problems
Sarsaparilla is considered an effective and safe folk remedy for skin conditions, including fungus, eczema, pruritus, rashes and wounds. Because conditions like skin rashes, bites and bacterial infections are common problems in developing and tropical countries, natural herbal remedies serve as important treatments for preventing complications thanks to their antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
The Integrative Medicine and Dermatology Clinic in New York points out that herbal remedies help treat skin problems differently than medications do because they “strengthen the host, as opposed to destroying the vector or manifestation of the disease.” (12) Studies conducted over the past six decades have shown that sarsaparilla can help decrease skin swelling, itching, redness, peeling and the formation of blotches. Certain studies have identified astilbin flavonoid isolates taken from the root of Smilaxplants as the active compounds responsible for immunosuppressive activities and inhibition against activated T lymphocytes that cause skin inflammation. (13)
Early studies from the 1940s found that sarsaparilla used topically on the skin to treat psoriasis helped improve symptom severity in over 40 percent of patients. One study investigating the effects of over 100 plants for treating bacterial infections of the skin found that sarsaparilla was one of the mot effective for fighting symptoms of dermatophyte infections, which often impact populations living in third-world countries, due to its fungicidal and fungistatic activities. (14)
Sarsparilla History and Interesting Facts
It’s believed that many Native American populations used sarsparilla to treat conditions like coughs and colds. According to the authors of “Secret Native American Herbal Remedies,” the Penobscot Indians were one tribe that frequently made a tea using sarsaparilla roots, which they drank to soothe throats and inflamed nasal passageways. Centuries ago, it was believed to have strong medicinal uses that even could even help treat life-threatening illnesses, such as leprosy, which affected people living in jungles like the Amazon.
Other native populations living in parts of Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America used sarsaparilla for thousands of years before settlers eventually introduced its benefits to those in Europe around the year 1400. In Europe, especially during the Dark Ages when “purification” was seen as an important practice, this herb was used mostly as a tonic, detoxification agent and blood cleanser. (15)
Once European travelers brought sarsaparilla back to the colonies and elsewhere, it became a common medical treatment for infections, including syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, in the U.S. from about 1820 to 1910, it was registered in the official U.S. Pharmacopoeia as an effective treatment for syphilis. (16)
How to Prepare and Use Sarsaparilla
You’re most likely to find sarsaparilla products in health food stores or online. A little goes a long way, and most products contain small (but powerful) doses of the root or extract, usually less than one teaspoon. It’s ideal to find pure, dried roots and boil them yourself in order to create an antioxidant-rich tonic that can be consumed when you’re feeling sick or run down. In the case of tincture, half a teaspoon twice daily is a common recommended dose, while dosages of powdered root range from 0.3 to two grams daily.
- Homemade Sarsaparilla Root Tea: You can prepare freshly made tea using dried sarsaparilla root by boiling water and pouring about one cup over one teaspoon of the roots. Let the mixture steep for about 30 minutes, then drain the liquid and drink several times daily. Sarsaparilla tea is great when you feel a cold, cough or fever coming on and want to help prevent symptoms from getting worse.
- Sarsaparilla Capsules or Supplements: Dosages vary depending on the brand and concentration. It’s common for several herbs to be combined together in order to increase the benefits, so you might find a product made with sarsaparilla along with elderberry or other immune system boosters. Always read the instructions on the bottle carefully and start with a low dose to test for any side effects.
Possible Side Effects of Sarsaparilla
Although it’s been consumed safely by indigenous populations for centuries, there are some potential side effects when using any herb. Only very rarely have side effects been reported, but it’s possible to experience signs of an allergic reaction or an upset stomach. If you take any medications or have sensitives to other herbs, speak with a doctor before using sarsaparilla. If you’re pregnant, it’s best to avoid sarsaparilla since there haven’t been many studies showing it’s safe to be used during this time.
Final Thoughts on Sarsaparilla
- Sarsaparilla is a plant that’s native to South and Central America and has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years to lower inflammation, raise immunity and promote longevity.
- Sarsaparilla has long been used in the treatment of liver problems, skin infections, coughs or colds, sexual dysfunction, and even growth of cancerous tumors.
- You can consume sarsaparilla in tea, tonic, tincture or capsule form. Tea is the most popular way to consume the many beneficial compounds found within sarsaparilla roots.
A quick note from our founder-
Over the past year, my friend Dave at PaleoHacks has been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold.
Well, today this new this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE
That's right -- as a special launch promotion, we're offering our brand new Paleo fat loss cookbook to you for free (Chef Pete lost 60 lbs using these recipes!) -- All you have to do is just cover a small shipping cost (international shipping is a bit more).
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because we only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:
just above your hips, lower belly, where your butt and legs meet... and even arms, neck and face.
However, there's good news:
Obesity researchers have now discovered a "metabolic jumper cable":
It jolts dead bodyfat back to life.
This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.
First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
- Not enough oxygen or nutrients reach fat cells, so they become unresponsive..
- Released fat can't be sent to other tissues to be burned, so fat cells suck it back in...
- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
- It wakes up un-responsive bodyfat with a powerful calorie-burning hormonal jolt....
- It pops open fat cells, sucks out the fat, sending it off before its yanked back in...
- It shuttles fat to your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys - even your bones - to be burned as energy.
Not only do those layers of "zombie fat" start coming off, but your entire body just works better.
Plus, as your whole body burns more calories, those patches of pocket obesity whittle away.
This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive.
It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know.
And on this next page, you'll find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
PS - Studies show that not only can healthy levels of this powerful calorie-burning hormone devour bodyfat and fortify soft muscle, but it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
If you haven't heard of Claude Davis yet do yourself a huge favor and watch this video. He's going to be the talk of 2016.
One of the smartest guys I ever had the pleasure of meeting, Claude set-up a unique system that changed his life forever.
I already tried it myself and let me tell... you I was completely blown away... His surprising tactics could make your life easier and give you the peace of mind you deserve.
Don't just take my word for it... watch his short video and decide for yourself.
Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.
Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.
Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.