The name of sarsaparilla comes from the Spanish, zarza, bramble, parra, vine and the diminutive illa -in other words, a small bramble-like climber.
The leaves are commonly oval to heart-shaped prominently veined and often patented.
Sarsaparilla was consumed as a tea and has been used in soft drinks and root beers. It was introduced into Europe following the Spanish colonization of South America.
Sarsaparilla contains 1.8% to 2.4% steroid saponins, including the following:
*Sarsaparilloside and its aglycones, sarsapogenin, smilagenin and polinastanol
Soft drink of sarsaparilla