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SASSAFRAS
(Sassafras officinale)

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SASSAFRAS (Sassafras officinale)

Sassafras

DESCRIPTION: A plant where the root bark is made into medicine. Sassafras trees grow from 9–35 m (30–115 ft) tall with a smooth, orange-brown bark or yellow bark. All parts of the plants are fragrant.

POTENTIAL BENEFITS: Despite serious safety concerns, sassafras is used for urinary tract disorders, swelling in the nose and throat, syphilis, bronchitis, high blood pressure in older people, gout,arthritis, skin problems, and cancer. It is also used as a tonic and “blood purifier.” Can also be applied to treat skin problems, achy joints, swollen eyes, sprains and insect bites or stings. Oil can be used to treat head lice and kill germs.

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: Not for use while pregnant. Not for long term use. Safe if it’s safrole free. Safrole is a precursor in the drug MDMA (ecstasy) and studies have shown it can cause liver damage. Unsafe as a medicine. Sassafras can cause sweating and hot flashes. High amounts can cause vomiting, high blood pressure, hallucinations, and more severe side effects. It can cause skin rashes when used on the skin.

PARTS USED: Root

GENERAL USAGE: As a medicinal herb, also used in cooking.

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