SARSAPARILLA

OTHER NAME(S):

Ecuadorian Sarsaparilla, Honduras Sarsaparilla, Jamaican Sarsaparilla, Liseron Épineux, Liseron Piquant, Mexican Sarsaparilla, Salsaparilha, Salsepareille, Salsepareille d'Europe, Salsepareille du Honduras, Salsepareille du Mexique, Sarsa, Sarsaparillae Radix, Sarsaparillewurzel, Smilax, Smilax Aristolochaefolia, Smilax Aristolochiaefolii, Smilax aristolochiifolia, Smilax china, Smilax febrifuga, Smilax medica, Smilax officinalis, Smilax ornate, Smilax regelii, Zarzaparrilla.

Overview

Overview Information

Sarsaparilla is a plant. The root is used to make medicine.

People use sarsaparilla for skin diseases, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), kidney disease, sexually transmitted diseases, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In manufacturing, sarsaparilla is used as a flavoring agent in foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals.

Don't confuse sarsaparilla with German sarsaparilla or Indian or false sarsaparilla. There are reports that this false sarsaparilla is a common impurity found in sarsaparilla preparations. False sarsaparilla contains none of the possibly active chemicals found in true sarsaparilla.

How does it work?

Chemicals in sarsaparilla might help decrease pain and swelling (inflammation). Some chemicals might also kill cancer cells or slow down their growth.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Psoriasis.
  • Digestive problems.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
  • Kidney problems.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Syphilis.
  • Gonorrhea.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of sarsaparilla for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Sarsaparilla is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a medicine. There are claims that sarsaparilla may cause stomach and kidney irritation when used in large amounts. But these claims can't be confirmed.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if sarsaparilla is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Asthma: Exposure to sarsaparilla root dust can cause runny nose and the symptoms of asthma.

Kidney disease: Sarsaparilla might make kidney disease worse. Avoid sarsaparilla if you have kidney problems.

Interactions

Interactions?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

!
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with SARSAPARILLA

    Digoxin (Lanoxin) helps the heart beat more strongly. Sarsaparilla might increase how much digoxin (Lanoxin) the body absorbs. By increasing how much digoxin (Lanoxin) the body absorbs sarsaparilla might increase the effects and side effects of digoxin (Lanoxin).

  • Lithium interacts with SARSAPARILLA

    Sarsaparilla might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking sarsaparilla might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of sarsaparilla depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for sarsaparilla. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Cai, Y., Chen, T., and Xu, Q. Astilbin suppresses collagen-induced arthritis via the dysfunction of lymphocytes. Inflamm.Res 2003;52(8):334-340. View abstract.
  • Barron RL, Vanscoy GJ. Natural products and the athlete: facts and folklore. Ann Pharmacother 1993;27:607-15. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
  • Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
  • Vandenplas O, Depelchin S, Toussaint G, et al. Occupational asthma caused by sarsaparilla root dust. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1996;97:1416-8.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.