Sassafras Root

OMG! if I were to drink any tea in the world it would be SASSAFRAS. I love love it! Move over Lipton! My dad makes it every time he finds the root. I dont know what health benefits it has, but I do know It works wonders when I have sore throat.  I am a lover of essential oils and I must find out more about its oil properties and info. 🙂

Sassafras Root: www.mountainroseherbs.com

Sassafras Bark and Powder Profile

Also known as

Sassafras albidum

Introduction

Sassafras is a sturdy tree found in the bayous of Louisiana. When the tree is young, its leaves are shaped like “mittens,” sometimes with two “thumbs.” As the tree matures, sometimes reaching a height of 100 feet (30 meters) and a trunk diameter of up to 6 feet (200 cm), the leaves grow more rounded, free of indentation. Sassafras tea, made from the root bark or just the bark, has been drunk for over three centuries in the lower Mississippi valley. Sassafras bark oil is used to flavor medicines and candy and in some perfumes.

Constituents

Alpha-pinene, anethole, apiole, asarone, beta-sitosterol, boldine, caryophyllene, elemicin, eugenol, mucilage, myristicin, reticule, safrene, safrole, tannins, thujone.

Parts Used

Bark, Root Bark.

Typical Preparations

Almost always found as a beverage or tea. The essential oil is more difficult to find and use because its trade is heavily regulated.

Summary

The traditional use of sassafras tea in herbal medicine is to help the immune system recover from a bout with poison oak or sumac, especially when the leaf has been chewed and peri-anal inflammation has resulted. Sassafras tea is also used to induce sweating to break a fever, and in douches to relieve inflammation caused by urinary tract infection in women. The essential oil is applied to the scalp to treat lice. The tea of Sassafras should only be adminsitered by someone qualified in the use of this material, and the novice should abstain from experimenting with Sassafras as an internal medicine.

Precautions

The essential oil in sassafras bark contains traces of safrole, a toxic chemical, and its use as an oil is greatly cautioned. Sassafras bark is not to be used while pregnant. When used as a tea it is should only be administered by someone familiar with the appropriate use of this substance and only for brief periods of time. The FDA strictly prohibits the use of Sassafras bark and oil in food products. Its internal use is not recommended.