Sassafras is a plant, its root is used to make medicine, and it has a mature spread of about 20 meters. With smooth, slender branches, one of the interesting sassafras tree facts is that it is not only the bark, but the branches, roots, and leaves that were put to varied uses by the Native Americans. A member of the Lauraceae family, the leaves and barks of the tree can be used to obtain essential oil through steam distillation.
Its tea that is brewed from its root or leaves is also beneficial and offers a variety of health benefits and has a flavour reminiscent of root beer. The tea is believed to purify the blood. It is also claimed to be a blood thinner. These metabolic activities are very much required to maintain a healthy body both in the present and in the longer run. Hence, it finds use in treating high blood pressure.
One of the benefits is that it helps in eliminating toxins from the body. It may also be useful as a diuretic. It is claimed that sassafras tea leaves have active ingredients that help those who suffer from arthritis and rheumatic conditions. Sassafras tea is known to provide relief during cold and influenza (flu).
Topically, sassafras preparations are purported to be beneficial for poison oak or eczema. The FDA banned sassafras use in 1979 following research that showed it caused cancer in rats.
“While the amount of sassafras that could potentially cause cancer in humans remains unknown, one cup of strong sassafras tea is reported to contain as much as 200 mg of safrole, an amount that is four times higher than the amount considered potentially hazardous to humans. But this herb is still being used today especially as an ingredient in beer.
Before using any herbal supplement, consult a health care provider before use, and should not be used on children.