Sarsaparilla or Smilax Regelii/Smilax Officinalis
Sarsaparilla oil extract is used in modern times to make a popular carbonated sweet beverage. (its Called SARs in Australia). Itís said to taste similar to some cough medicines, maybe because it was used to flavour medicine over the centuries. The most popular species for commercial use is the Jamaican Smilax Regelii. Home made root beer made from sarsaparilla roots is generally more "birch-y" tasting than the commercial brands which add additives like wintergreen oil extract to rid its bitterness.
Many chemicals exist in the root such as oils, smilasaponin, smilax saponins A-C, smiglaside A-E, smitilbin, stigmasterol, acetyl-parigenin, astilbin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoyl-shikimic acids, dihydroquercetin, diosgenin, engeletin, essential oils, epsilon-sitosterol, sarasaponin, sarsaparilloside, eucryphin, eurryphin, ferulic acid, glucopyranosides, isoastilbin, isoengetitin, kaempferol, parigenin, parillin, pollinastanol, resveratrol, rhamnose, saponin, sarsaponin, sarsasapogenin, shikimic acid, sitosterol-d-glucoside, smilagenin, taxifolin, and titogenin.
General Medical Recipe: Ĺ to 1 cup of dried roots are boiled in 2-3 cups of stilled water for 10 minutes. This is a decoction opposed to an infusion tea as it needs heat to release the chemicals.
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