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Sarsaparilla
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Smilacaceae
Genus: Smilax
Species: S. regelii
Binomial name
Smilax regelii
Killip & C.V.Morton
Synonyms

Smilax ornata Hook.f.

Sarsaparilla (pronounced /ˌsæspəˈrɪlə/ or /ˌsɑːspəˈrɪlə/), also known as Honduran Sarsaparilla or Jamaican Sarsaparilla(Smilax regelii), is a perennial trailing vine with prickly stems that is native to Central America.[1] Its name (which is zarzaparrilla in Spanish) comes from the Spanish words zarza for "shrub" and parrilla for "little grape vine."[2]

Contents

Characteristics

Sweet Sarsparilla (Smilax glyciphylla) is a vine native to East Australia.[3] It is sometimes confused with Native Sarsparilla (Hardenbergia violacea), an unrelated vine.[4]

Usage

Sarsaparilla is used as the basis for a soft drink sold for its taste, frequently of the same name, or called Sasparilla. It was also a common ingredient in old fashioned root beer, in conjunction with Sassafras, prior to the discovery of sassafras's health risks. [5]

It was thought by Central 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 (now recognized to be ineffective). Modern users claim that it is effective for eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, and leprosy, along with a variety of other complaints. [6] No peer reviewed research is available for these claims. However, there is peer reviewed research suggesting that it has anti-oxidant properties, like many other herbs. [7]

Sarsaparilla is not readily available in most countries, although many pubs and most major supermarket chains in Australia stock sarsaparilla flavored soft drinks. In America, the prevalent brand is Sioux City Sarsaparilla.[citation needed] In Taiwan, HeySong Sarsaparilla soda is also commonly available in convenience stores.

Sarsaparilla was a popular drink during the old west. (1820-1890's)[citation needed]

Polar Beverages bottles Sarsaparilla.

See also

References

External links

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