Smilax ornate / Smilax spp.

Sarsaparilla_Smilaxofficinalis_SmilaxChina_Photo05

MDidea. (2013). Botanical Description:Sarsaparilla,Smilax Medica,Smilax China. Retrieved from: http://www.mdidea.com/products/proper/proper08802.html

Botanical Name: Smilax ornate / Smilax spp.
Common name: Sarsaparilla (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
Family: Smilacaceae (Bone, 2003, p. 397)
Parts used: Root & rhizome (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

History/Folklore: Amazonian natives used the root for menopause and to enhance the “virility of men” (Bone, 2003, p. 398). The genus Smilax contains a range of species, with Smilax ornata, S. aristolochiifolia and S. medica medically interchangeable (Bone, 2003, p. 397). The herb has a wide range of traditional use including skin disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, syphilis, leprosy (conjunction) and as a tonic and flavouring agent (Bone, 2003, p. 398).

Constituents: Saponins: sarasapogenin, smilagenin, β-sitosterol and stigmasterol (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

 

Actions

  • Alterative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Antirheumatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584; Bone, 2003, p. 397)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Diuretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Depurative (Bone, 2003, p. 397)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone, 2003, p. 397)

 

Indications

  • Psoriasis (Bone, 2003, p. 397; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Chronic skin disorders (Bone, 2003, p. 397)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (Bone, 2003, p. 397; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • 3-6mL liquid extract (1:2)/day
  • 20-40mL liquid extract (1:2)/week

(Bone, 2003, p. 397)

 

Cautions & Contraindications: None known (Bone, 2003, p. 397)

 

Interactions: May increase absorption of digitalis glycosides (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

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