Killip & C.V.Morton
Smilax regelii is a perennial, trailing vine with prickly stems that is native to Central America. Common names include sarsaparilla (// or //), Honduran sarsaparilla, and Jamaican sarsaparilla. It is known in Spanish as zarzaparrilla, which is derived from the words zarza meaning "bramble" (from Arabic sharas "thorny plant" or Basque sartzia "bramble"), and parrilla, meaning "little grape vine".
Smilax regelii was considered by Native Americans to have medicinal properties, and was a popular European treatment for syphilis when it was introduced from the New World. From 1820 to 1910, it was registered in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for syphilis. Modern users claim it is effective for eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, herpes, and leprosy, along with a variety of other complaints. There is no peer-reviewed research available for these claims. There is, however, peer-reviewed research suggesting that S. regelii extracts have in vitro antioxidant properties, like many other herbs.
Smilax regelii is used as the basis for a soft drink, frequently called Sarsaparilla. It is also a primary ingredient in old fashioned-style root beer, in conjunction with sassafras, which was more widely available prior to studies of its potential health risks.
Triterpenes a constituent of sarsaparilla
Sarsaparilloside a constituent of sarsaparilla
Parillin a constituent of sarsaparilla
- Aralia nudicaulis, wild sarsaparilla or false sarsaparilla
- Sweet sarsaparilla (Smilax glyciphylla), a vine native to eastern Australia
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- Encyclopædia Britannica. "sarsaparilla (flavouring) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
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- Dietz, B; Bolton, Jl (Apr 2007). "Botanical Dietary Supplements Gone Bad". Chemical research in toxicology 20 (4): 586–90. doi:10.1021/tx7000527. ISSN 0893-228X. PMC 2504026. PMID 17362034.
- "PlantNET – FloraOnline". Plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
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- Sarsaparilla Root and Herb Information
- Whatever happened to the soft drink sarsaparilla? Cecil Adams, 1977