Despite serious safety concerns, people use sassafras for many conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
In beverages and candy, sassafras was used in the past to flavor root beer. It was also used as a tea. But sassafras tea contains a lot of safrole, the chemical in sassafras that makes it poisonous. One cup of tea made with 2.5 grams of sassafras contains about 200 mg of safrole. This is about 4.5 times the dose that researchers think is poisonous. So, in 1976, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that sassafras could no longer be sold as sassafras tea.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
When applied to the skin: Sassafras containing safrole is LIKELY UNSAFE for use as a medicine. Don't put it on your skin. The safrole in sassafras root bark and oil can cause cancer and liver damage. It can cause skin rashes in some people when used on the skin.
Special Precautions and Warnings
When applied to the skin: Sassafras containing safrole is LIKELY UNSAFE for use as a medicine. Don't put it on your skin. The safrole in sassafras root bark and oil can cause cancer and liver damage. It can cause skin rashes in some people when used on the skin. It is UNSAFE for anyone to use sassafras in medicinal amounts, but some people have extra reasons not to use it:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Sassafras is LIKELY UNSAFE if you are pregnant. There is evidence that sassafras oil might cause a miscarriage. There isn't enough reliable information to know if it is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Sassafras is LIKELY UNSAFE for children. A few drops of sassafras oil may be deadly.
Surgery: In medicinal amounts, sassafras can slow down the central nervous system. This means it can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. When combined with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery, it might slow down the central nervous system too much. Stop using sassafras at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Urinary tract conditions: Sassafras might make these conditions worse.
Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with SASSAFRAS
Sassafras might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking sassafras along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
Medications that increase break down of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 CYP1A2 (CYP1A2) inducers) interacts with SASSAFRAS
Some medications increase breakdown of other medications by the liver. Taking sassafras along with medications that increase breakdown of other medications by the liver might cause chemicals in sassafras to be metabolized to more toxic forms. Some medications that might increase the breakdown of chemicals in sassafras include omeprazole (Prilosec) and others.
Be cautious with this combination
You Might Also Like
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 2020.