Sarsaparilla is a plant and an herb.

botanical information:

    Botanical name: Wild sarsaparilla is Aralia spp. (especially Aralia nudicaulis L.)

    Botanical name: Root beer is Smilax aspera.

    Botanical name: Mexican sarsaparilla is Smilax medica.

    Botanical name: Jamaican sarsaparilla is Smilax ornata.

    Common name: sarsaparilla

    Use the botanical name when ordering seeds (bulbs, etc.) or when looking up information in the library. Common names vary by nation, culture, and region, and sometimes the same common name is applied to different plants.

part used:

    Part Used (Jamaican sarsaparilla root): Root.

Information courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

    Part Used (Mexican sarsaparilla root): Root.

Information courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

    The part of this plant used is its root. Sarsaparilla is the herbal ingredient in root beer. Chinese, Native Americans and Europeans have used the sarsaparilla root boiled in water to treat a variety of urinary tract disorders, as a diuretic and has been used to treat coughs, arthritis and as an anti-inflammatory for rheumatism.”

—courtesy of Austin Nutritional research

astrological correspondences:

    Astrological planet: Jupiter

magickal correspondences and uses:

    Jupiter spells: Sarsaparilla (as an herb) may be used in as an ingredient or substitute for magick spells and formulas related to Jupiter matters (growth, legal matters, luck, meditation, money, prosperity, settling legal matters, and spirituality). Be careful about substitutions for preparations that will be ingested or come in contact with the skin. These substitutions do not apply to medical uses. See the article on Jupiter for a list of herbal substitutes for sarsaparilla.

    Love spells: Sarsaparilla flowers are appropriate for use in love spells, such as the Aphrodite New Moon love spell.

    Magickal substitutions: Rosemary usually may be safely substituted for any herb in magick spells and rituals. Roses may safely be substituted for any flower.

cautions and contraindications:

    Non-toxic to animals: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Center has determined that wild sarsaparilla “has not been reported as having systemic effects on animals or as having intense effects on the gastrointestinal tract.” —ASPCA

Some herbs may be poisonious under some conditions. Exercise appropriate care.

    Wild gathering: Avoid wild gathering. Some plants are endangered species. Some plants can be toxic just by touch. Even experts can make deadly misidentifications of wild plants. Please grow your own herbs in your own goddess garden (or window boxes).

See also: herbs

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