Inflammation can cause debilitating symptoms, but there are several natural remedies that has been used for centuries to provide relief and possibly prevent symptoms. Sarsaparilla root is one such remedy worth learning more about.
What Is Sarsaparilla?
Sarsaparilla is a type of root that is native to India as well as Central and South America, where it has a long history of use as a traditional medicine. Mexican and Honduran sarsaparilla are often used to make medicinal supplements today. You may also be familiar with sarsaparilla flavoring, which is added to foods and beverages, including soda, producing a taste similar to root beer.
Sarsaparilla for Inflammation
The name may be a mouthful, but what sarsaparilla does for the body is pretty simple. Sarsaparilla contains chemical compounds -- saponins, plant steroids and flavonoids -- that are said to combat inflammation, which is the body's natural response to injury. However, inflammation can get out of hand and cause discomfort like pain and swelling. For this reason, sarsaparilla is often used to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis as well as psoriasis.
Taking sarsaparilla may also provide additional antioxidant protection against the damage of free radicals as well as support for the immune system to help the body fight off illness. Studies published in 2005 and 2012 indicate antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, but more research surrounding sarsaparilla will need to be conducted to determine the exact way this root affects the body and to determine the recommended dosage.
How to Take Sarsaparilla
You can find sarsaparilla root in liquid capsule form to take daily as a supplement. As with any new supplement, speak with your doctor before adding sarsaparilla to your daily regimen if you're currently being treated for a medical condition. Start with a small dosage to determine tolerance before increasing.
Taking sarsaparilla in low to moderate doses is generally considered safe. Taking too large a dose may cause digestive upset. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised not to take sarsaparilla at this time as well as those with asthma or kidney disease. Individuals taking lithium or digoxin should also avoid sarsaparilla.
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