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Sarsaparilla is a plant known for its health benefits. It is a climbing plant of the genus Smilax and can grow up to 15 metres tall. There are different species, but the most used for herbal medicine are the American ones, including Smilax ornata, Smilax officinalis, Smilax medica and Smilax siphilitica, among others.

According to a study published in the journal Pharmacological Research, Sarsaparilla extracts have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities. While its effects are still being studied, the plant is already used in dietary supplements.

Benefits of the Sarsaparilla plant

Researchers are currently studying the benefits of Sarsaparilla. However, according to some publications, such as the United States Pharmacopeia, many of the benefits attributed to the plant are a product of its herbal chemical concentration, which includes triterpenes, sarsaparilloids, parillin, smitilbin, and phenolic compounds, among others. 


1. Psoriasis

For decades, people have been using sarsaparilla root as an adjuvant in the treatment of psoriasis. In fact, this is one of the few effects of the plant that is supported by evidence, as stated in a study published in International Immunopharmacology.

According to researchers, one of the steroids in the plant, sarsoponin, is able to bind to endotoxins that cause damage in patients with this skin disease. Because of this, it could help relieve symptoms.


2. Arthritis

In the root structure of sarsaparilla there is a flavonoid compound called astilbin. In fact, according to a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, this plant compound has the potential to reduce the inflammatory response in animals with induced arthritis.

Although we need more studies to test these effects in humans, the findings are promising. In addition, there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that taking this supplement, either in powder or capsule form, may help relieve joint inflammation.


3. Syphilis

Sarsaparilla appears to have benefits against sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis. Although it does not replace treatment with antibiotics and other drugs, it can be an adjuvant to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

In a study published in the journal Molecules, this plant had positive effects against six types of bacteria and one fungus. Its phenolic compounds were responsible for these beneficial effects.


4. Liver health

A study published in the Journal of Membrane Biology proved that this plant has protective effects on the liver. Thanks to its flavonoid compounds, consumption of Sarsaparilla as a dietary supplement can help optimise liver function. In addition, it reduces the negative effects caused by free radicals.




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