Sarsaparilla Benefits

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sarsaparilla-benefits.html

Sarsaparilla Benefits

Sarsaparilla is a natural herb that has a number of benefits. One of the many sarsaparilla benefits is its ability to treat liver conditions. In this article, we will see what are the other benefits of sarsaparilla…

Sarsaparilla is a vine-like woody plant, which is indigenous to Central and South American rain frosts, Mexico, certain parts of Australia, the Caribbean Islands, Jamaica as well as certain parts of South East Asia. It was introduced to Europe in the late 15th century. The scientific name of sarsaparilla is smilax ornate and it belongs to the lily family. This vine is known to reach up to fifty feet in length. Sarsaparilla bears small flowers and black, blue or red berry like fruits. The root of sarsaparilla is long and tuberous. It has a spicy-sweet and pleasant taste, when it is processed, however, before processing the roots are bitter, sticky and often tend to have a strong odor. Since, there are many sarsaparilla benefits, it has been used for centuries in the manufacturing of herbal medicines. We will now see sarsaparilla herbal benefits.

What are the Benefits of Sarsaparilla

Among the first health benefits of sarsaparilla is that it is a great blood purifier and is also a tonic, which boosts stamina and energy. It is considered as a fine tonic herb, has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Sarsaparilla is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C as well as Vitamin D. It is also a rich source of iron, manganese, sodium, silicon, sulfur, copper, zinc and iodine. Sarsaparilla also contains amino acids.

  • Sarsaparilla is used to treat nervous system disorders.
  • It is also used in psoriasis and eczema treatment. Sarsaparilla contains saponin, which helps to disable bacterial components called endotoxins, which show up in the bloodstreams of people afflicted with psoriasis.
  • Patients suffering from inflammatory disorders like rheumatism and gout, have benefited from the regular consumption of sarsaparilla. However, it does not help to relieve acute cases of gout, but its use helps in preventing attacks when it is taken for over a period of couple of months.
  • One of the benefits is its use as a diuretic and laxative. It helps the body to get rid of excess water from the body and also helps to treat mild case of constipation.
  • Sarsaparilla is also known to induce sweating, thereby purifying the blood.
  • It is also known to increase the excretion of uric acid, which makes it an effective in the treatment of urinary tract infections and other complications that involve the kidney and liver.
  • Among many of the sarsaparilla uses, famous is its use to offset fever and increase body strength and resistance.
  • Since it also known to have anti-inflammatory properties, it is said to be effective in alleviating conditions like arthritis.
  • The antibacterial properties are effective in neutralizing internal and external infection, such as abscesses, acne, boils, wounds and other skin disorders.
  • Sarsaparilla is also said to be useful in maintaining the balance of the glandular system.

There are some misconceptions associated with this plant. It is said that it contains plant steroids, which according to some are similar to human hormones. However, the body is not able to change the plant steroids into human steroids, hence the claim is not yet confirmed and validated through scientific evidence. Due to such perceived properties, sarsaparilla has been advertised as a sexual enhancer for men and also as steroid replacement for athletes and body builders. Because the claims are not verified, you may not want to fall prey to such false propaganda and avoid any side effects as well.

There are many benefits of sarsaparilla, but before you use this herb to treat any of the disorders, it is recommended you talk to your health care professional regarding the same. Since the exact dosage to treat various conditions have not been established, altering the dosage can result in dangerous complications.

By 
Published: 3/24/2010

Guinea hen weed: A powerful Jamaican herb – News – Jamaica Gleaner – Tuesday | October 18, 2011

Guinea hen weed: A powerful Jamaican herb – News – Jamaica Gleaner – Tuesday | October 18, 2011

Guinea Hen Weed: A Powerful Jamaican Herb

 

GUINEA HEN weed, known to South Americans as anamu, is a herb that is indigenous to induce abortion in the Amazon rainforest and the tropical areas of the Caribbean, Central and South America and Africa. Its botanical name is Petiveria alliacea. In Jamaica, it has several names – guinea hen weed, guinea hen leaf, garlic weed or gully root.
Anamu has a long history of use in herbal medicine in all the countries where it grows. Herbalists and natural health practitioners have traditionally used anamu for a wide variety of conditions including arthritis, digestive disorders, infections, diabetes, cancer, pain relief and even to induce abortions.
Over the past quarter of a century, however, modern scientific research has studied anamu intensively and many biologically active compounds have been discovered in the plant: flavanoids, triterpenes, steroids, and sulfur compounds. The research published on anamu now validates many of the historical uses of this herb.
Interestingly, the researchers found that of the 20 compounds isolated from the plant – several of which had never been identified in nature before – some were similar to compounds found in garlic, a plant known to have medicinal properties.
Anamu kills cancer cells  Laboratory investigations show that anamu retards the growth of several strains of cancer and leukemia cells. In a plant screening programme performed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, more than 1,400 plant extracts were evaluated for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Anamu was one of only 34 plants identified with active properties specifically against cancer.
How does anamu work against cancer?
Several phytochemicals in anamu like astilbin and dibenzyl trisulphide have been documented to directly kill cancer cells. Research showed further that the compounds in anamu were able to differentiate between normal cells and cancer cells, killing only the cancerous cells. In addition, other substances in the herb stimulate the body’s natural defences as described below.
Anamu stimulates the immune system – Anamu has also been verified to have immunostimulant properties. It stimulates the immune system to increase its production of lymphocytes and natural killer cells – powerful disease-destroying cells. At the same time, it increases the production of interferon and interleukins – substances naturally produced by the immune system in fighting cancers and infections.
Anamu fights infections – It demonstrates broad spectrum antimicrobial properties against numerous bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast. Compounds in anamu directly kill and or inhibits the growth of these germs. Interestingly, many alternative medicine practitioners believe that infection plays a major role in many cancers. Anamu is widely used in folk medicine for treating infections.
Anamu relieves pain – Its traditional use as a remedy for arthritis and rheumatism has been validated by clinical research that confirms its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effect. Researchers in Sweden demonstrated its COX-1 inhibitory properties (cyclooxogenase-1 inhibitors are a new class of popular and profitable arthritis drugs). Anamu extracts have been found to relieve pain and inflammation even when applied topically to the skin.
Anamu lowers blood sugar – While anamu has not been widely researched for diabetes, it had been documented to lower blood sugar levels by more than 60 per cent in laboratory animals. This reflects herbal medical practice in Cuba where anamu has been used as an aid for diabetes for many years.
Contradictions to anamu
Anamu has been found to cause contractions of the uterus that can lead to abortions and miscarriages. As such, it should not be used by pregnant women.
Anamu contains a low concentration of a blood thinner called coumadin. People with any bleeding disorder like hemophilia or who are on blood thinning medication should consult their health-care provider before using anamu.
Directions for use
I recommend using organically grown anamu herb, free of insecticides, herbicides and other pollution.
One heaping tablespoonful of the whole powdered anamu plant is diffused in one litre of hot water. The resulting tea is drunk preferably on an empty stomach. An average dosage is four ounces (about half a cup) twice daily.
My experience
I myself was introduced to anamu by a Jamaican oncologist, (a doctor specialising in treating cancer), who had seen good results in some of her patients who used this herb. I thank her for her generosity in sharing the information. I had also heard impressive stories from Jamaican men with prostate cancer who had benefited from its use.
After doing my own research, I now use it regularly in my practice and find it to be a useful, safe, inexpensive addition to a cancer-treatment programme, as well as in the treatment of the other conditions listed above.
Reminder and warning
Many persons are desperately looking for a quick fix – a magic bullet that will miraculously cure their illness. The reality is that there is no quick fix. Like so many useful herbs, anamu will give best results when combined with optimal nutrition, nutritional supplements, exercise, detoxification, stress management and adequate restful sleep.
It must be a part of a programme of healthy lifestyles. It may also be used along with conventional medicines without disturbing their effects. If you have a serious medical condition, do not self medicate without the assistance and guidance of a qualified health practitioner.
You may email Dr Tony Vendryes at tonyvendryes@gmail.com or listen to ‘An Ounce of Prevention’ on POWER 106 FM on Fridays at 8 p.m. His new book ‘An Ounce of Prevention, Especially for Women’ is available locally and on the Internet.