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Sarsaparilla (Smilax
Sarsaparilla Herb
regelii and other closely related species of Smilax) is a vine that bears roots with many useful properties. These vines have long prickly stems and shiny leaves, and numerous reddish-brown roots up to 3 m long. Several species of Smilax are used, but the Jamaican S. regelii (syn. S. officinalis) is the species preferred for commercial use. Sarsaparilla is also grown in Mexico, Central America and parts of South America. It is also grown in parts of South India, the Tamil name of it being Nannaari. The main uses include the flavouring of beverages, and homeopathic medicine.

Before treatment, the roots are bitter, sticky, and have no smell. Then they are dried and boiled in order to produce the extract. For use in beverages, oil of wintergreen or other flavours may be added in order to mask the natural bitterness of the root. Root beer made from sarsaparilla roots is generally more "birchy" than the more popular, commercial brands.

A popular carbonated sarsaparilla beverage in Queensland, Australia is called Sars. It was named before the health
Sarsaparilla Herb
epidemic of the same name, and it was of great entertainment value to visitors to be able to buy a 'Can of SARS'.

Sarsaparilla is available in England, produced, for over 115 years, by the "Fitzpatrick's", Britain's "Last original Temperance Bar".

Sasparilla vs Sarsaparilla
Although the terms "sasparilla" and "sarsaparilla" are often used interchangeably, the two terms are sometimes used to distinguish Smilax sp. from Aralia nudicaulis. However, definitions are not universally fixed, and both "sasparilla" and "sarsaparilla" are used to refer to either Smilax sp. or A. nudicaulis.

A. nudicalis is a herbaceous perennial that looks very much like ginseng and is in fact related.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarsaparilla"

Other useful herb information: Burdock | Apricot | St johns wort | Bitter Orange | Schizandra | Savory | Snakeroot

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