Soft drink of sarsaparilla

Sarsaparilla is a woody vine of the lily family (Liliaceae), has a mild anise flavor and provides root beer’s foamy head. Sarsaparilla is a soft drink, originally made from the Smilax regelii plant.

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.

Smilax regelii
Sarsaparilla has long been used for skin complaints such as psoriasis. It is also believed to be a good diuretic and diaphoretic so it has been used as a blood purifier and for kidney complaints.

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

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