Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 StarsReliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 StarsContradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 StarFor an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
In Mexico, sarsaparilla was used by herbalists for rheumatism, cancer, skin diseases, and a host of other conditions.1 At the turn of the 20th century, there were reports of its use by herbalists for the treatment of leprosy.2 Sarsaparilla also has a tradition of use in various women’s health concerns and was rumored to have a progesterone-like effect. Sarsaparilla was formerly a major flavoring agent in root beer.
How It Works
How It Works
Sarsaparilla contains steroidal saponins, such as sarsasapogenin, which may mimic the action of some human hormones. This property remains undocumented, however. Sarsaparilla also contains phytosterols, such as beta-sitosterol, which may contribute to the anti-inflammatory effect of this herb. Reports have shown anti-inflammatory3 and liver-protecting4 effects for this herb. Similar reports on the effect of sarsaparilla on psoriasis occur in early European literature.5
How to Use It
Sarsaparilla is often taken in capsules, 2–4 grams three times per day.6 A tincture, 2–4 ml three times per day, may also be used.
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.
Sarsaparilla may increase the absorption of digitalis and bismuth, increasing the chance of toxicity.8
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
According to the German Commission E monograph, sarsaparilla may cause stomach irritation and temporary kidney irritation.9 Sarsaparilla should not be taken during pregnancy or breast feeding.
The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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