Sarsaparilla: what is it for and how to prepare tea

Sarsaparilla, whose scientific name isSmilax aspera, Is a medicinal plant that resembles a vine and has thick roots and oval leaves in the shape of a spear. Its flowers are small and whitish and its fruits are like red berries that contain a large number of seeds.

This plant has anti-inflammatory, diuretic and depurative properties, and can be used to assist in the treatment of gout, rheumatism and arthritis, for example.

Sarsaparilla is most often found in southern Brazil, however the root powder, flowers and leaves of sarsaparilla can be found in health food stores or in compounding pharmacies.

What is it for

Sarsaparilla has anti-inflammatory, diuretic, aphrodisiac, depurative, stimulating and toning properties and can be used for:

  • Assist in the treatment of gout, as it promotes the elimination of excess uric acid;
  • Relieve symptoms and assist in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism, due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant;
  • Stimulates the production and release of urine;
  • Helps to fight infections;
  • Helps in muscle recovery and can be used in natural energy drinks.

In addition, the benefits of sarsaparilla can also be seen in skin diseases such as acne, herpes and psoriasis.

Sarsaparilla tea

The most used part of sarsaparilla for consumption is the root, as it is rich in testosterone, potassium and flavone, which act in the metabolism. The root is usually found in health food stores in the form of powder or capsules, but it can also be found in its natural form.


  • 250 mL of water;
  • 2 tablespoons crushed sarsaparilla root

Preparation mode

To make sarsaparilla tea, it is necessary to boil the water and add the crushed sarsaparilla root and leave for about 10 minutes. Then strain and drink one to two cups a day.

Side effects and contraindications

So far, no side effects related to the use of sarsaparilla have been reported, however, its consumption should be made under the recommendation of the herbalist, as use in very high concentrations can cause gastrointestinal irritation.

The use of sarsaparilla is contraindicated for children up to 10 years of age, pregnant women, people with hypertension, heart or kidney failure and should be avoided by people who are using any medication, as the plant can decrease absorption and, consequently, the effect of the medication.