Other: brown sarsaparilla, Honduran sarsaparilla, Jamaican sarsaparilla
Smilax ornata Lem. Plant Family: Smilacaceae
This particular species is a woody, perennial climbing vine native to South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. When the Spanish conquistadores arrived, they found that indigenous tribes used beverages made with sarsaparilla as a general health tonic. The name itself is from the Spanish sarza, meaning brambles, and parilla, meaning vine.
This perennial climbing vine features erect, semiwoody stems with sharp thorns up to 1/2 inch long. The leaves are large, heartshaped, and almost evergreen with prominent veins.
USES AND PREPARATIONS
Dried root made into decoctions and cold beverages.
No known precautions.
We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.