Name: Ichnocarpus fruitescens, Apocymene frutescens, Echites frutscens, Smilax officinalis
Names: Black Creeper, Sarsaparilla, Sariva, Kalisar, Dudhilata, Sugandhi, Honduras sarsaparilla, red sarsaparilla, Spanish sarsaparilla, Tu fu ling, Dwipautra
Sarsaparilla is a tropical American perennial
plant. It is also found throughout India and in the Himalayas under 5,000 feet. Its long, tuberous rootstock produces a vine which trails on the ground and climbs by means of tendrils growing in pairs from the petioles of the alternate, obicular to ovate, evergreen leaves. The small, greenish flowers grow in axillary umbels.
Used: Root, milk, stalk, leaves
The root is an alterative tonic, diuretic, diaphoretic, carminative
Sarsaparilla root is said to be good for gout, rheumatism, colds, fevers, and catarrhal problems, as well as for relieving flatulence. A tea made from it has also been used externally for skin problems, scrofula,
and ringworm. Sarsaparilla would be classed generally as a "blood purifier." It was once commonly taken as
a tonic in spring.
It is also used for venereal diseases, herpes, skin diseases, arthritis, rheumatism, gout, epilepsy, insanity, chronic nervous diseases, abdominal distention, intestinal gas, debility, impotence, turbid urine.
Sarsaparilla purifies the urino-genital tract, dispelling all infection and inflammation.
Its purifying action wends to the nervous system and it helps cleanse the mind of negative emotions; therefore it is useful in many nervous disorders.
Sarsaparilla's diaphoretic and blood-cleansing action is useful for rheumatic inflammation.
For herpes and venereal complaints, it can be combined with gentian. It stimulates the production of reproductive hormones and has tonic action on the sexual organs.
As a blood-purifier it works well with burdock root. Externally, it can be used as a wash for genital sores or herpes, or as a hot fomentation for painful, arthritic joints.
Decoction, powder, pills
Infusion: Steep 1 tsp. rootstock in 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups a day.
Tincture: A dose is from 30 to 60 drops.
No information about the safety of this herb is available.
Use caution. Ayurvedic herbs are often taken in combination with others to neutralize the toxicity one herb with the opposing effect of other. Do not take except under the supervision of a qualified professional.
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