Sassafras Herb (Tree)- Uses And Side Effects
The sassafras tree, Sassafras albidum is native to eastern North America. Oil and teas are extracted from its roots and bark. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the volatile oil and safrole (the herb's main component) as food additives or flavor-enhancing agents. However, the FDA has approved a safrole-free sassafras extract for food use.
Sassafras is a herb with the botanical name Sassafras albidum and is part of the Lauraceae family of plants. The herb was named by a Spanish botanist in the 16th century. The tree grows from 20 to 40 feet high with many slender branches and smooth orange brown, soft and brittle bark. The herb has a sweetish and slightly astringent taste. The odour is pleasant and aromatic.
Common doses of Sassafras
Sassafras comes as crude bark, liquid extract, oil, tea, and powder. Some experts recommend the following doses for skin conditions and venereal diseases:
Properties :- Carminative, alterative, diuretic, diaphoretic and topical antiseptic (oil).
Uses of Sassafras herb
Historically Sassafras was primarily used for skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, often in combination with other herbs such as sarsaparilla, yellow dock and nettle. Traditional herbalists recommended the tincture for internal use and the oil for external use. Specifically, sassafras may help to :-
Also, sassafras root bark has also been used to aid in the treatment of acne, dysentery, herpes, syphilis, measles, and shingles.
Side effects of Sassafras
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of sassafras:
This herb also can cause:
One teaspoon of sassafras oil can kill an adult. A few drops can kill a child.
Are there any interactions?
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking.
Important points to remember
What the research shows
Despite its long history of use as a flavoring agent and a treatment for skin and rheumatic conditions, sassafras is toxic and may promote cancer development. It also may interfere with many prescription drugs. Medical experts warn against using it for any purpose.
Other names for Sassafras
Other names for sassafras include ague tree, bois de sassafras, cinnamon wood, fenchelholz, lignum floridum, lignum sassafras, root bark, saloop, sassafrasholz, and saxifras.
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