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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Salsaparrilha, Zarzaparilla
Khao Yen, Saparna, Smilace, Smilax

Smilax Ornata, Smilax Medica, Smilax Regelii
Smilax Aristolochioefolia
Hermidesmus Indicus

For Informational Use Only
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.

  • Sarsaparilla Herbal Description
  • Sarsaparilla Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Sarsaparilla Dosage Information
  • Sarsaparilla Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Sarsaparilla Supplements & Products

  • sarsaparilla smilax ornata


    Sarsaparilla is also known as Red China Root, Greenbrier, Brown Sarsaparilla, Bamboo Brier, Vera Cruz, Small Spikenard, Wild Sap, Chinese Root, China Root, Salsaparrilha, Khao Yen, Saparna, Smilace, Smilax, Zarzaparilla. Sarsaparilla comes from the Spanish word "sarza", meaning bramble, and "parilla", meaning vine. There are many plant species that use the name Sarsaparilla. This can be somewhat confusing. The Sarsaparilla species sold by our merchants include Smilax regelii, Smilax ornata, Smilax officinalis, Smilax medica, and Hermidesmus indicus (Indian Sarsaparilla). In Spanish, zarsaparilla means "little bramble vine", an apt description of the plant.

    sarsaparilla smilax medica


    Several species of plants, of the genus Smilax, including:
    • Smilax officinalis, also known as Red-Bearded and used homeopathically (S. officinalis syn. S. ornata, S. regelii, S. medica).
    • Smilax medica, also known as Mexican sarsaparilla.
    • Smilax ornata, also known as Honduran or Jamaican sarsaparilla.
    • Smilax regelii, also known as Jamaican sarsaparilla.
    • Smilax aristolochiifolia, known as American or Mexican sarsaparilla.
    • Smilax aspera, a flowering vine found worldwide.
    • Smilax glyciphylla, sweet sarsaparilla, native to Eastern Australia.

    Other plant species known by the same name include:
    • Alphitonia, known as sarsaparilla in Australia.
    • Hardenbergia violacea, known as sarsaparilla in Australia.
    • Aralia nudicaulis, known as wild sarsaparilla.
    • Hemidesmus indicus, known as Indian sarsaparilla.
    sarsaparilla smilax regelii

    The Sarsaparilla (Smilax officinalis, Smilax aristolochioefolia) species can be found in tropical rainforests and temperate regions in the Americas, Asia, India, and Australia. In Europe, the only variety is Smilax aspera, which is found in the Mediterranean region. The plant is a woody, climbing, evergreen perennial, growing to fifteen feet and having broadly ovate leaves, tendrils, and small greenish, yellow, or brown flowers. The root is gathered throughout the year, but mainly from January to May. The perennially growing vine sarsaparilla, whose large, rhizome forms the basis of the homeopathic remedy sarsaparilla, is native to Central America and Costa Rica. In effect, some people know this plant by the name of Jamaican sarsaparilla, which actually denotes that the initial exports of the plant to Europe were done via Jamaica.

    sarsaparilla smilax aristolochioefolia

    The Smilax genus contains several species of sarsaparilla and some confusion exists between them and other unrelated species which also bear the same name. Smilax is considered to be the true sarsaparilla but Americans often use the American Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis). Therefore, when the two countries read each others herbal literature, it can be confusing as to which herb is being referred. Others that also carry the name are Schisandra coccinea, Hardenbergia violacea, and Hemidesmus indicus.

    sarsaparilla hermidesmus indicus


    It is thought that this plant was brought as a medicine to Spain from South America around 1573. It is said that the plant was introduced to Seville about 1536 from "New Spain" and Honduras. During its height of popularity, 1831, for example, 176,854 pounds of the herb were imported into England alone.

    It was found to be one of the more excellent New World remedies encountered by Pedro de Cieze de Leon in his Chronicle of Peru written in 1553. One of its earliest uses was in the treatment of syphilis. It was heralded as a cure for syphilis and reportedly used in the Caribbean with some success. The claims were inflated, however, and its popularity soon waned. The Aztecs used this herb in the treatment of syphilis, chronic skin ailments, especially those that cause putrid ulcerations, and in cases of bone disease. It was also touted as a blood purifier; however, in recent studies it has not been shown to be effective as a treatment for syphilis, or as a blood purifier. Sarsaparilla root was also used by the indigenous peoples of Central and South America for treating sexual impotence, rheumatism, skin ailments, and as a general tonic for physical weakness. Tribes in Peru and Honduras have long since used Sarsaparilla for headaches, joint pain, and the common cold. Shamans and medicine men in the Amazon use this root for leprosy and other skin problems, such as psoriasis and dermatitis.

    The 16th century physician, Nicholas Monardes devoted two chapters of his Joyfulle Newes Out of the Newe Founde Worlde to this herb. Extolling the virtues of the plant, Monardes followed the traditional theory of the time that when a body was invaded by an illness, it had to get out by means of bleeding, diuretics, laxatives, or with such herbs as sarsaparilla, through profuse sweating. He describes an arduous cure in which a thick juice is made by soaking and then boiling the chopped root or root bark. The afflicted person was made to drink this concoction three times a day while forsaking all other nourishment with the exception of a little chicken. Wrapped in warm clothing, the patient would then "sweat it out". The treatment was a prolonged one, lasting more than two weeks; but, according to Morardes, it was highly effective against a variety of illnesses, including syphilis.

    In the US, before it was replaced by arificial agents, sarsaparilla root was the original flavoring for root beer. Cowboys in the Wild West might have ordered a bottle of sarsaparilla instead of a beer at the saloon, especially if they had just recently visited the local brothel.

    Early records report its use among the Native Americans, who considered the herb a supreme spring blood tonic. In 1624, it was found that the Hurons used it for healing sores, ulcers, and wounds. In 1708, it was noted that it cured dropsy. The Chippewa, Meskwaki, Ojibwa, Potawatomi, and Tete de Boule tribes all reported to early settlers that when an illness threatened to turn into consumption, sarsaparilla should be taken immediately. The Penobscot Indians drank a root tea to treat colds and coughs. Topically, the tea was used to treat ringworm and other skin problems.

    By the mid-1800s, country health care providers were using it in the treatment of many diseases, including consumption, scrofula, syphilis, skin diseases, and anywhere that a purifying medicine might be needed. By 1868, it had found its way into the official Canadian Pharmacopeia.


    Today Sarsaparilla is mainly used for the urinary system and is an important remedy for cystitis and renal colic from kidney stones. It is also used as a treatment for eczema with deep, bloody cracks on the hands, acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis. Rheumatic pain can be treated with Sarsaparilla as well. Sarsaparilla is also used for sexual impotence. As a tonic, it is used for physical weakness, for enhancing the male reproductive system, and it aids in relieving low mood and debility associated with menopause. Sarsaparilla is also a cleansing remedy for skin and joint problems.

    INDIAN SARSAPARILLA (Hemidesmus Indicus) USES

    Hemidesmus indicus is used to make beverages and also used in traditional medicine. In Ayurved it goes by the name of Ananthamoola. It is also called False Sarsaparilla. It is administered in the form of powder, infusion or decoction as syrup. The extracts from the root are used as a coolant and a blood-purifier and also used in many other forms, especially as refreshing syrup with sugar and a dash of lemon, and served at most small refreshment shops in South India.

    According to practitioners of traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, this root can be administered in the fourth and ninth month of pregnancy to prevent miscarriage. They also claim its efficacy in treating ulcers, fever, loss of appetite, gastritis, anorexia nervosa, cough, excessive thirst, menorrhagia, diarrhea and diabetes. It is also believed that the extracts from this root help in increasing semen count, purifies blood, neutralizes poisons, works as a diuretic and emetic, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Some experimental studies have displayed the beneficial effect of the extract of this root.


    Smilax ornata is used as the basis for a soft drink frequently called Sarsaparilla. It is a primary ingredient in old fashioned-style root beer, in conjuction with sassafras, which was more widely available prior to studies of its potential health risks. In southern states of India, sarsaparilla is pickled and consumed as a mix along with curd rice. The roots of sarsaparilla are also the key ingredient in a popular summer drink in south India. The drink concentrate is made by slightly crushing the roots of sarsaparilla and steeping it in hot water to infuse the flavors. Jaggery syrup and/or sugar solution is added to this to make a concentrate. Jaggery is a concentrated product of date, cane juice, or palm sap without separation of the molasses and crystals. It can vary from golden to dark brown in color. Jaggery is mixed with other ingredients to produce several delicacies.

    Smilax ornata has been considered to have medicinal properties. It was a popular European treatment for syphilis and from 1820 to 1910 was registered in the U.S. Pharmacopia as a treatment for syphilis.


    The entire underground part of the plant, including the roots and tuberous swellings produced by the runners are used medicinally. The indigenous tribes of Central and South America have been traditionally using the rhizome of sarsaparilla for several centuries for curing a number of health conditions, including skin ailments, rheumatism, impotence as well as a common stimulant for physical debility. Even the tribal people in Honduras and Peru have been using this plant for long to treat complaints, such as headaches and joint pains as well as to treat common cold. Several shamans (tribal people using magic to cure ailments) as well as herbalists in the Amazon region use the sarsaparilla rhizome both internally and externally as a cure for leprosy and other skin disorders, such as dermatitis and psoriasis. In fact, leprosy is quite widespread in region where the ailment is transmitted by armadillos (a type of nocturnal burrowing animals) and indigenous people in the Amazon region are known to have armadillos as a regular item in their diet. In addition, the indigenous tribes of South America also used the sarsaparilla root as a common tonic for promoting their health.

    On the other hand, physicians in Europe regarded the sarsaparilla root to be a stimulant, diuretic, blood purifier as well as a medication to induce sweating. Meanwhile, in 1536, a Smilax root (root of the climbing shrub of the Smilacaceae belonging to genus Smilax) from Mexico was also introduced to European medicine and it soon became popular as a therapy for rheumatism and the sexually transmitted disease (STD) syphilis. Since then, the Smilax roots became very popular and have been extensively used worldwide to treat syphilis and other types of disease transmitted through sexual activities. In China, tests showed that up to 90-percent of the acute cases of syphylis were effectively treated with sarsaparilla in combination with five other herbs.

    It was also considered to be an effective blood purifier and, hence, was listed as an official herb in the U.S. Pharmacopeia for treatment of syphilis between the period 1820 and 1910. It needs to be mentioned here that right from the 1500s and till this day, people worldwide have been using sarsaparilla for a number of remedial purposes, including a blood cleanser and a common tonic for promoting health. In addition, the root of this plant has been used to treat sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea, gout, rheumatism, arthritis, fever, coughs, hypertension (high blood pressure), scrofula (initial stage of tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, particularly those of the neck), digestive problems, skin ailments, psoriasis and even cancer.

    Sarsaparilla has traditionally been used to treat a variety of skin problems. It has long been used to bring relief to such skin problems as eczema, psoriasis, and itchiness. A decoction is often used as a treatment for ringworm and parasitic skin infections. One study in the 1940s showed that psoriasis patients improved with the use of the herb, but the study was criticized because of its design. The herb is an excellent blood-purifier and alternative. It is frequently used in the treatment of all infectious diseases where the blood shows some abnormal quality. It can help treat rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Chinese research indicates that the root has a potential in treating leptospirosis, a rare disease transmitted to humans by rats.

    Native Amazonians use it to improve virility and to treat menopausal problems. Its testosterogenic effect leads to increased muscle bulk and has a potential for treating impotence. Its progesterogenic action makes it beneficial in premenstrual problems, debility, and depression associated with menopause. The plant is used in Britain as a tonic and restorative. In Mexico, it is frequently consumed as a tonic and for its reputed aphrodisiac effects.


    It has been noted that sarsaparilla possesses a potent affinity to the urinary tract. Hence, this medication is normally recommended for treating cystitis that is distinguished by pain when the passage of urine ends. In such cases, the urine may possibly contain blood or a sandy or gravel-like precipitate. Some patients suffering from this condition may even experience spontaneous trickling of urine, particularly when they are in a seated position. Such patients have normal urine flow only when they are in a standing position.

    The native tribes of South America have been using the herb sarsaparilla since time immemorial for treating a number of health conditions, particularly those related to the urinary tract. In the 17th century, this vine was introduced to Europe, where people used it as a panacea or cure-all. Years afterwards, the plant was also used to add essence to root beer.


    Sarsaparilla is a perennially growing vine, forms the basis of the homeopathic remedy sarsaparilla, which is used to treat a number of health conditions, especially those associated with the urinary tract. Sarsaparilla is a large vine that climbs very high onto trees or any other thing it can find in its vicinity to ascend. As this vine possesses large thorns, the Spanish referred to the plant as bramble vine. The plant produces big rounded leaves that appear as if they have been drawn together by the veins. The rhizome of the herb is exceptionally bulky, rounded and plump and it is used for a number of purposes, especially medicinally. Many long wiry thin roots emerge from the rhizome and each of them may be spreading over an area of two or more meters underneath the ground.

    The homeopathic remedy sarsaparilla is highly beneficial for individuals who are suffering from depression and nervous anxiety and usually hold the state of their mind responsible for the pain endured by them. In addition, such individuals also have a tendency to feel cold most of the times.

    The homeopathic remedy sarsaparilla prepared with the large, fat rhizome of the perennially growing sarsaparilla vine. Following the excavation of the rhizome, it is dehydrated in the sun, chopped into fine pieces and steeped into alcohol. The resultant solution is strained, diluted to desired levels and succussed to obtain the homeopathic medication sarsaparilla. As with any other homeopathic remedies, sarsaparilla also does not retain any trace of the original substance it is prepared from and is safe for human use, curing a number of health conditions, particularly those associated with the urinary tract.

    The homeopathic Sarsaparilla preparation is primarily used for curing problems of the urinary system and also forms a vital medication for cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder) and renal colic (acute pain owing to the passage of a calculus from the kidney through the ureter) developed due to kidney stones. People suffering from cystitis experience symptoms, such as a regular urge to pass urine and excruciating pain in the bladder while the last few drops of urine are passed. Other symptoms of this condition include constant trickling of urine, especially when the patient is in a sitting position, and incontinence (inability to restrain the passage of urine). Soon after passing urine, such patients experience an acute, rather intolerable pain. The urine of such patients may contain, blood, white sand, minute gravels or tiny calculi, which may pass out along with the urine very often. In homeopathy, sarsaparilla is considered to be the appropriate medication for the renal colic on the right side, which is accompanied by an agonizing and unbearable pain from the right kidney and it passes downwards. In such cases, patients may have very scarce or profuse urination, which is bloody or bright and transparent in appearance, but very exasperating. The urinary bladder is distended and this causes immense pain and tenderness in the entire region.

    Homeopathic practitioners also prescribe sarsaparilla to treat eczema accompanied by deep, bloody fissures on the hands, particularly on the sides of the fingers. In homeopathy, it has been found to be a very effective remedy for this condition. Sarsaparilla is also beneficial for people suffering from rheumatic aches that usually have a tendency to worsen in humid/ moist weather and during night-time. In effect, people who require this homeopathic remedy most are those who tend to feel extremely cold and usually have scratchy, flaky spots that turn out to be brittle, particularly during the spring.

    In homeopathy, sarsaparilla is also indicated for the treatment of a number of skin conditions, including boils, herpes and others. It is an appropriate homeopathic remedy for loose, shrunken skin that lies in folds and is flaccid. In some cases the skin also becomes hardened and lacks any sensation. In addition, herpes emerge on various parts of the body. In fact, ulcers form in different parts of the body when any syphilis patient indulges in abuse of mercury. Apart from curing these conditions, sarsaparilla is also effective in curing skin conditions like eczema accompanied by rash and eruptions like dry itches that are most likely to appear during the spring. In addition, some women may also experience itchy eruptions on their forehead during their menstrual periods. In such cases, turning to the homeopathic remedy sarsaparilla not only cure the actual skin complaints, but also provide relief from the associated bothersome symptoms.

    Women suffering from the gynecological condition dysmenorrhea, which is marked by very agonizing menstruation, may turn to the homeopathic remedy sarsaparilla for cure and relief from the excruciating symptoms. In homeopathy, sarsaparilla is indicated for use when a woman experiences pain in her abdominal region as well as the lower back, tenderness in the breast, vomiting, nausea, recurrent urge to urinate and diarrhea during her menstruation periods. It has been found to be effective in alleviating all these excruciating and annoying symptoms.

    In addition to the above mentioned uses of sarsaparilla, it is also effective in providing quick relief to particular types of headaches. Using this homeopathic medication in such types of headaches, for instance when the headache gives rise to a sensation as if a tight band has constricted the head, and is accompanied by a shooting and throbbing pain, dry, scratchy and a susceptible scalp, nausea, vomiting and a depressing mood, brings great relief. Turning to sarsaparilla in these conditions helps to provide instant relief from the headache as well as alleviates the associated symptoms.


    There is an old-fashioned charm to homemade root beer with its odd array of roots and bark, flowers, leaves and berries. It, like many other fermented beverages, once enjoyed position as a staple of American cookery. Water was not always potable and raw milk, small beers, cider, perry and other fermented beverages were consumed as the drink of choice for the entire family, even for small children. For a time, each community and each family enjoyed a closely guarded homemade root beer recipe.

    While most home brewers now make their root beers from commercially sold root beer concentrates, there is a certain undeniable charm of brewing root beer the traditional way by slowly simmering a concoction of roots, berries, bark and spices, dissolving a sweetener into the herbaceous brew adding a natural source of yeast, bottling and then simply waiting for the yeast to do its work.

    The primary flavor found in any old-fashioned homemade root beer recipe is Sassafras, a deciduous tree native to North America. The characteristic sweet flavor comes from the tree's roots, thus giving us the name root beer. Homemade root beer recipes contain many herbs and spices considered medicinal in folkloric medicine. And while each homemade root beer recipe differs from the next, it is their consistencies that illustrate the power of traditional cooking and herbal medicine. Sassafras was traditionally used as a diuretic and thought to cleanse the blood and promote skin health. Sarsaparilla, similarly, was typically used to beautify the complexion and as a diuretic. Traditionally, Wintergreen leaf was used as a carminative that is, it was thought to prevent gas and to ease digestion, and it was also typically used to ease the pain of sciatic and epidydimitis. Licorice root, similarly, was used in folkloric medicine for its ability to ease digestive distress and some clinical evidence suggests it can be beneficial in the treatment of ulcers. Other herbs and ingredients typically used in homemade root beer: Ginger, Dandelion, Hops, Birch have also featured widely in traditional herbal medicine.


    In an 1876 Canadian Pharmacy edition, a recipe for an original root beer was listed: 8 ounces of sarsaparilla, licorice, cassia, and ginger. Two ounces of cloves, three ounces of coriander seed. Boil for fifteen minutes in eight gallons of water and let stand until cool. Strain through flannel and add to it in the soda fountain, twelve pints syrup, four pints of honey, four ounces tincture of ginger, and four ounces of a solution of citric acid.

    To make a gourmet version of a home-made root beer syrup: Take one cup of grated ginger root, two cups of sassafras root, two cups of sarsaparilla root, and one teaspoon of ginseng root. Place all in a large pot with a gallon of water. Let the mixture boil for half an hour or until the water had reduced by half. Pour through a spaghetti strainer into another pot. Add five cups of honey and bring again to a high boil before pouring into jars. Two tablespoons of the mixture with club soda is then served.


    A simple and nourishing fermented homemade root beer (non-alcoholic) with herbs and beneficial cultures. This recipe uses sassafras and wintergreen. A variety of other herbs were sometimes used in traditional recipes (including sarsaparilla, burdock, anise, licorice, astragalus and others), but the same flavor can be accomplished with only a few herbs. This simplified version is much more budget friendly as many of these herbs are hard to source and expensive. The rest of the herbs can be used if desired, and 1 tablespoon of each could be added. Before beginning, it is important to have the culture ready to go. Use a homemade ginger bug in this recipe as it gives both the flavor and carbonation, though any type of natural culture could be used.


    Put the sassafras root bark and wintergreen leaf in a large pot. Add cinnamon, coriander and allspice if using. Add 3 quarts of filtered water and turn on high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove herbs. While still warm, add the sugar and molasses and stir until dissolved. Let cool until warm but not hot and add the lime juice and then then ginger bug or other culture and stir well. Transfer to Grolsch-Style Bottles or jars with tight fitting lids and allow to ferment for several days at room temperature. Check after two days for carbonation and when desired carbonation is reached, transfer to refrigerator and store until use. Enjoy!

    If desired, the following can be added to the original boil but they are not needed:



    Bring two and one-half quarts filtered water to a boil and stir in sassafras, sarsaparilla, wintergreen, licorice, ginger, hops, juniper, birch and wild cherry bark. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and simmer the roots, berries, barks, leaves and flowers for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes, turn off the heat and strain the infusion through a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth into a pitcher. Stir unrefined cane sugar into the hot infusion until it dissolves and allow it to cool until it reaches blood temperature. Once the sweetened infusion has cooled to blood temperature, stir in the ginger bug or fresh whey and pour into individual bottles (preferably flip-top bottles which are easy enough to find online, leaving at least one inch head space in each bottle.

    Allow the root beer to ferment for three to four days at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator for an additional two days to age. When you arere ready to serve the root beer, be careful as it, like any other fermented beverage, is under pressure due to the accumulation of carbon-dioxide, a byproduct of fermentation. Open it over a sink and note that homemade sodas, like this one, have been known to explode under pressure. Serve over ice.

    ginger bug culture


    Ginger Bug is used as a beneficial culture to make healthy fermented homemade sodas like old fashioned ginger ale or root beer. A mixture of sugar, ginger, and water captures wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria, which can then be used to add a probiotic boost (and fizz) to herbal sodas or fruit sodas like blueberry, raspberry, or rhubarb. It is easy to start and continue growing to make soda whenever you like.

      1 to 2 fresh Ginger Roots
      1/2 cup White Sugar (important for starting the culture. Honey, stevia or other sweeteners will not work)
      2 cups of Water (filtered, chlorine free)
      Quart-size Mason Jar


    Cut a piece of ginger root about 1.5 inches long to make 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated ginger. You can also finely chop instead of grating. There is some debate about if it is better to peel the root or not. Non-organic ginger gets peeled and organic just gets rinsed before grating.

    Place the ginger in a quart size mason jar and add an equal amount of white sugar (2 to 3 tablespoons). Nourishing Traditions insists that white sugar is needed to create the bug, however some claim that unrefined sugar or sugar with 1 teaspoon of molasses (sugar/molasses ratio 4:1) added works better. Try what you have and adapt as needed.

    Add 2 cups of filtered water to the mason jar. Make sure that the water has been filtered so that it does not contain chlorine which can affect the culturing process.

    Stir with a non-metal spoon and lightly cover. You can use a coffee filter and rubber band or a tight lid on the jar. Stir or give it a shake and ferment is a warm spot (72 to 80°F) for 24 hours. Every day for the next five to seven days, stir the mixture at least once or twice daily (some recipes recommend 2 to 4 times daily) and add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Depending on temperature, it may take up to eight days of adding sugar and ginger to create the desired culture. You can tell if culture is active if there are bubbles forming around the top of the mixture, it "fizzes" when stirred and it takes on a sweet and mildly yeasty smell. It will also become somewhat cloudy and opaque. If you are using the classic cap and band jar lid, you will be able to feel the top of the lid for pressure. Once there are bubbles forming at the top of the mixture, it is ready to use for soda making.

    If mold appears on the top, scrape it off if it can be removed. It this happens more than once, you will need to start again. If the mixture has not taken on these characteristics by the 7 to 8th day, you need to discard it and start again. Keep the culture away from other cultures like sauerkraut and kombucha or it can cross culture.

    Once the ginger bug has cultured, it can be used to create fermented sodas and drinks at the ratio of 1/4 cup ginger bug starter per quart of sweetened herbal mixtures (for ginger ale or root beer) or diluted fruit juice (for fruit flavored sodas). Pour into a bottle with a tight seal and ferment for two to three days.

    To keep the bug alive and continue growing it, you will need to feed it regularly. Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger and 1 teaspoon sugar per day if kept at room temperature. You can also seal it tightly with a lid and "rest" it in the refridgerator for up to one week. Feed it 1 tablespoon each of ginger and sugar once a week, let set out over night, then store it in the refrigerator again. To reactivate it at anytime, remove from the refrigerator and let it reach room temperature and begin feeding it again.

    Ginger Bug activates quickly in warm temperatures and can take over a week in cooler temperatures. The creepy white growth is mold. Throw it out and try again. Cleanliness is important. Make sure workspace, mason jar and all utensils used are cleaned well in hot soapy water before using and do not let the brew set out uncovered to prevent contamination from airborne molds.


    Due to its different constiuents, it is important to read the label to ensure that you are using Sarsapailla rather than Hemidesmus (Indian sarsaparilla) for the treatment of your condition. For a decoction, take 1/2 to 1 cup of a standard root 2 to 3 times a day. In taking the root powder form, take 3 to 4 grams in tablets or capsules daily. As a tincture, take 6 to 12 drops 1 to 3 times daily.

    Key Actions: Anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, astringent, analgesic, cleansing, hormone-like, stops bleeding, tonic.
    Key Components: Steroidal saponins (1 to 3-percent), phytosterols (including beta- and e-sitosterol), starch (about 50-percent), resin, sarsapic acid, and minerals.


    Sarsaparilla is generally regarded as safe when taken in the recommended doses. Exceeding the recommended doses can cause gastrointestinal upset. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. Safety in young children, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known. Sarsaparilla can increase the absorption of some drugs, particularly digitalis, and can accelerate the elimination of hypnotic drugs.


  • Sarsaparilla Herbal Products

  • Sarsaparilla Homeopathic Products


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    Sarsaparilla root is a tropical herb from Central America brought to Europe by Spanish Conquistadors for use in herbal medicines. The tropical root is harvested from its natural environment in Mexico. Sarsaparilla, long valued for its large roots, was once widely used in root beer, and is still used today to flavor beverages, candies and baked goods. It has been used by athletes as a nutritional supplement, for sexual impotence, rheumatism, skin ailment, and a tonic for physical weakness. Sarsaparilla is useful for skin disorders such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. As a tonic, Sarsaparilla is used for physical weakness, for enhancing the male reproductive system, and it aids in relieving low mood and debility associated with menopause. Sarsaparilla is also a cleansing remedy for skin and joint problems.


    Mountain Rose Herbs: Sarsaparilla (Indian) Root (Hemidesmus indicus), Certified Organic, Bulk Organic Herbs & Spices
    Mountain Rose Herbs: Sarsaparilla (Indian) Root Powder (Hemidesmus indicus), Certified Organic, Bulk Organic Herbs & Spices
    Mountain Rose Herbs: Sarsaparilla (Jamaican) Root (Smilax regelii), Wildharvested, Bulk Organic Herbs & Spices
    Mountain Rose Herbs: Sarsaparilla Extract (Smilax ornata), Wildharvested, Single Herbal Extracts & Tinctures


    Starwest Botanicals: Sarsaparilla Root (Mexican / Smilax medica), Cut & Sifted, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.
    Starwest Botanicals: Sarsaparilla Root (Mexican / Smilax medica), Powder, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.
    Starwest Botanicals: Sarsaparilla Root (Indian / Hemidesmus indicus), Cut & Sifted, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.
    Starwest Botanicals: Sarsaparilla Root (Indian / Hemidesmus indicus), Cut & Sifted, Organic, 1 lb.
    Starwest Botanicals: Sarsaparilla Root (Indian / Hemidesmus indicus), Powder, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.
    Starwest Botanicals: Sarsaparilla Root (Indian / Hemidesmus indicus), Cut & Sifted, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.


    HerbsPro: Smilax Sarsaparilla Extract, Source Naturals, 2 fl. oz. (7376)
    HerbsPro: Sarsaparilla Extract, Herb Pharm, 1 fl. oz. (31336)
    HerbsPro: Sarsaparilla Extract, Alcohol Free, Natures Answer, 1 fl. oz. (17316)
    HerbsPro: Sarsaparilla Jamaican Extract, Eclectic Institute Inc, 1 fl. oz. (32108)
    HerbsPro: Smilax Sarsaparilla Extract, Source Naturals, 2 fl. oz. (7377)
    HerbsPro: Sarsaparilla Jamaican Extract, Eclectic Institute Inc, 2 fl. oz. (76278)
    HerbsPro: Sarsaparilla, Low Alcohol, Natures Answer, 2 fl. oz. (17318)
    HerbsPro: Sarsaparilla Extract, Herb Pharm, 4 fl. oz. (32338)
    HerbsPro: Sarsaparilla, Natures Way, 100 Caps (18067)
    HerbsPro: Sarsaparilla, Natures Herbs, 455 mg, 100 Caps (17626)


    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Cut & Sifted, Mexican Wildcrafted (Smilax medica), Starwest Botanicals, 4 oz: C
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Powder, Mexican Wildcrafted (Smilax medica), Starwest Botanicals, 4 oz: C
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Cut & Sifted, Indian (Hemidesmus indicus), Certified Organic, Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Cut & Sifted, Indian (Hemidesmus indicus), Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Cut & Sifted, Indian (Hemidesmus indicus), Frontier, 1 lb: K
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Cut & Sifted, Jamaican (Smilax regelii), Frontier, 1 lb: K
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Cut & Sifted, Mexican Wildcrafted (Smilax medica), Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Powder, Indian (Hemidesmus indicus), Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Powder, Indian (Hemidesmus indicus), Certified Organic, Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Powder, Wildcrafted Mexican (Smilax medica), Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root 4:1 Powdered Extract (Smilax officinalis), Kalyx, 1 lb: Q
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Whole, Certified Organic, Kalyx, 50 lbs (22.73 kg): CO
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Teacut, Certified Organic, Kalyx, 50 lbs (22.73 kg): CO
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Powder (Smilax officinalis), Kalyx, 200 kg (440 lbs): GF
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Liquid Alcohol Extract, Starwest Botanicals, 1 fl. oz: C
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Liquid Alcohol Extract (Smilax medica), Health & Herbs, 2 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Non-Alcoholic Extract (Smilax medica), Health & Herbs, 2 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Wildcrafted Liquid Alcohol Extract, Starwest Botanicals, 4 fl. oz: C
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Liquid Alcohol Extract (Smilax medica), Health & Herbs, 8 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Non-Alcoholic Extract (Smilax medica), Health & Herbs, 8 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Liquid Alcohol Extract (Smilax medica), Health & Herbs, 16 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Non-Alcoholic Extract (Smilax medica), Health & Herbs, 16 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Root Liquid Alcohol Extract (Smilax medica), Health & Herbs, 32 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Soft Drink, Kutztown, 24 oz (Case of 24): GR
    Sarsaparilla has been made with the same original recipe for the past century. Kutztown soft drinks are made with the finest ingredients, including pure cane sugar. Each bottle of soda has a rich and creamy texture with a bold, clean flavor. This soda is caffeine free. Each case consists of twenty four, twenty four ounce bottles.
    Kalyx: Sarsaparilla Soft Drink, Kutztown, 12 oz (6 - 4 Pack): GR


    Amazon: Sarsaparilla Herbal Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Sarsaparilla Herbal Information


    Sarsaparilla root is a tropical herb from Central America brought to Europe by Spanish Conquistadors for use in herbal medicines. The tropical root is harvested from its natural environment in Mexico. Sarsaparilla, long valued for its large roots, was once widely used in root beer, and is still used today to flavor beverages, candies and baked goods. It has been used by athletes as a nutritional supplement, for sexual impotence, rheumatism, skin ailment, and a tonic for physical weakness. Sarsaparilla is useful for skin disorders such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. As a tonic, Sarsaparilla is used for physical weakness, for enhancing the male reproductive system, and it aids in relieving low mood and debility associated with menopause. Sarsaparilla is also a cleansing remedy for skin and joint problems.


    Amazon: Sarsaparilla Homeopathic Supplement Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Sarsaparilla Herbal Information

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    Health & Wellness Index


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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
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  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
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  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index
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  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
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