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Sassafras also called White Sassafras, Red Sassafras or Silky Sassafras is a deciduous tree native to Eastern North America and there are some other types of Sassafras native to Asia. Sassafras belongs to the Lauraceae family or Laurel family which includes Cinnamon Verum, Camphor and Avocado.
When the tree is young, its leaves are shaped like “mittens”, sometimes with two “thumbs”. As the tree matures, reaching a height of 100 feet and a trunk diameter of up to 6 feet, the leaves grow more rounded. The Bark is orange-brown with deep furrows when mature. The tiny six petaled flowers grow on separate male and female trees and the female trees produce a drupe fruit or a fruit with a single seed in the middle that is blue-black when ripe.
Sassafras Bark has a distinctive root beer-like flavour, although not found in commercial beverages anymore. Some people or bartenders will make their own root beer syrup for drinks.
Sassafras wood and oil were both used in early dentistry as a dental anesthetic and disinfectant, and toothbrushes were crafted from Sassafras twigs or wood because of its aromatic properties.
Traditionally Sassafras wood was used by indigenous people of eastern North America for dugout canoes, and its leaves, roots and bark as food and medicine. Cherokees gave an infusion of Sassafras Bark to treat children with worms and used Sassafras poultices made from root bark to treat open wounds, sores, reduce fevers, soothe joint pain, gout, ease menstrual pain, cure scurvy and soothe red and swollen eyes. Used traditionally for congestion in the lungs, urinary disorder, kidneys issues and blood purifying.
Before the 20th century, Sassafras was used mostly for medicinal purposes and after it was valued for its flavour and ability to make the taste of medicine more palatable.
The constituent safrole found in Sassafras can be toxic but it is practically insoluble in water so it should pass through the body safely. The same constituent is also found in green tea, pepper, nutmeg and pepper.
Sassafras taste is aromatic, earthy flavour and has notes of Anise and Lemon Eucalyptus and root beer. The energetics of Sassafras are warming and drying. Sassafras has an affinity to the lungs, digestive system, musculoskeletal system, bladder, kidneys, blood, skin and uterus. For the digestive system combine Sassafras with Ginger Root, Cinnamon, Clove and Anise. For joint support combine Sassafras with Birch Leaf, Burdock Root or Devil’s Claw.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Sassafras Bark to one cup of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day. Or make into a syrup.
Cautions & contraindications:
Not for long-term use.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.
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