The task of inflammation centers around eliminating the initial cause of cell injury, initiate tissue repair, clear out necrotic cells and tissue damaged from the original insult and the inflammatory process, as previously mentioned. The properties of sassafras may help to alleviate inflammatory conditions and others. Here Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola.com, reflects on the many health benefits of sassafras:
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“Root beer may be one of the most popular beverages in the world today, but did you know that its flavor was once literally taken from a plant’s roots? The original taste of root beer was all thanks to the sassafras plant, which was extremely popular in the early 20th century because of its sweet and warm flavor and aroma.1
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However, its use was eventually banned because of an animal study showing that it may cause liver damage because of an active compound. Learn more about this plant, its preparation as a tea and potential adverse reactions or you may experience from consuming it.
What Is Sassafras Tea?
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Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) is a well-known plant in the South because of its unique aroma and taste. You can identify this plant through its leaves, which are 3 to 5 inches long and may be two-lobed or three-lobed. In the fall, the leaves usually take on a bright orange hue. Its young branches are bright green, which explains why the Native Americans referred to it as “green stick.”2
The Cherokee, Chippewa, Creek, Delaware and Iroquois have used this plant for centuries. It is especially popular due to its sweet and spicy taste and aroma, which is one of the reasons it’s used in root beer. It’s especially well-known in the Southeast, with most people remembering the taste and smell of sassafras tea from their childhood.3
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But despite its popularity, the plant has been the subject of numerous controversies because of its active components. In 1960, sassafras use was banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an ingredient in all types of food because of safrole, the compound responsible for the scent of sassafras root.4
In an animal study, concentrated safrole was found to cause liver damage and liver cancer if taken in large amounts.5 However, other studies suggest that if sassafras is ingested without safrole, it wouldn’t expose people to the risk. Some suggest that you can ingest sassafras tea in small amounts or you can use sassafras products that have undergone the FDA-approved process to remove the safrole content.6
What Potential Health Benefits Can Sassafras Tea Offer?
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Sassafras use in North America spans hundreds of years, from the Appalachian belief that it can ward off evil to the Creole’s culinary use of its root. But aside from these, sassafras root is filled with nutrients and beneficial components, which include tannins. Some of the benefits of sassafras tea include the following:
• Contains possible diuretic properties. Sassafras has been used to promote urination, sweating and fluid congestion drainage.7 As a diuretic, sassafras may help facilitate detoxification and uric acid flushing.8
• May reduce inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of sassafras may assist in inflammatory conditions like arthritis. It may also help alleviate pain and discomfort caused by these conditions.9
• May help alleviate eye infections. The pith of the sassafras plant was originally used as a mucilaginous demulcent for eye infections.10 A demulcent functions as a protective layer for inflamed tissues, easing and combating further irritation.11
In addition to these, sassafras has also been used to help alleviate various skin conditions, mucositis, sprains and urinary tract infections.12 But take note that sassafras tea should not be taken for long periods of time due to the possible side effects posed by safrole. To benefit from this tea and greatly reduce the risk of complications, limit your intake to a maximum of 2 cups per day.
Here Are Sassafras Tea’s Nutrition Facts
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Sassafras contains numerous beneficial active compounds, including asarone, alpha pinene and tannins. Here are the nutrition facts of sassafras tea:13
|Total Fat||0.0 g||0%|
|Saturated Fat||0.0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.0 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.0 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||8.8 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0.0 g|
|Vitamin A 0.0 %||Vitamin C||0.1%|
|Vitamin B12 0.0 %||Vitamin B6||0.1 %|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Does Sassafras Tea Contain Any Caffeine?
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It is unclear whether sassafras tea contains any level of caffeine. However, it was originally consumed due to its stimulant properties.14 In addition to this, safrole, one of the most abundant compounds found in sassafras, is a precursor to methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), a stimulant and known hallucinogen.15
However, its apparent lack of caffeine does not mean that you can consume sassafras tea in excessive amounts. Remember that moderation is key, and getting too much of something may lead to other serious repercussions.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://articles.mercola.com/teas/sassafras-tea.aspx
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