A common drink in TV western, sarsaparilla is a root with clusters of pointed oval leaves and berries of varying color, depending on where they grow. Sarsaparilla is used to make a carbonated soft drink originally formulated from the Central American smilax ornata plant. It’s one of many ingredients used in root beer, but this unassuming root has many positive benefits to your health. From battling cancer and liver disease to helping you look younger by blocking free radicals, this is a root to root for and a great addition to your diet.
1. Anti-Cancer Benefits
Studies have shown that up to 24 extracts in the stems, leaves, fruit, and roots of wild sarsaparilla help naturally treat or prevent cancer. A number of pharmaceutical benefits are garnered through a concentration of the plant in natural saponins and steroids that help your body absorb herbs and other drugs. Sarsaparilla packs in five or more steroidal saponins. These include two recently discovered ones, called sarsaparilloside B and sarsaparilloside C. These saponins help kill cancer cells, especially those that affect the lining of the colon.