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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sassafras...

Not just a semi-euphematic naughty word used by a wascally wabbitt...
It's the greatest natural tea known to man lol!
Well at least the tastiest...aside from mint of course.

This page gives the following info on the medicinal uses of sassafras:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sassaf20.html
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---Medicinal Action and Uses---Aromatic, stimulant, diaphoretic, alterative. It is rarely given alone, but is often combined with guaiacum or sarsaparilla in chronic rheumatism, syphilis, and skin diseases.
The oil is said to relieve the pain caused by menstrual obstructions, and pain following parturition, in doses of 5 to 10 drops on sugar, the same dose having been found useful in gleet and gonorrhoea.
Safrol is found to be slowly absorbed from the alimentary canal, escaping through the lungs unaltered, and through the kidneys oxidized into piperonalic acid.
A teaspoonful of the oil produced vomiting, dilated pupils, stupor and collapse in a young man.
It is used as a local application for wens and for rheumatic pains, and it has been praised as a dental disinfectant.
Its use has caused abortion in several cases.
Dr. Shelby of Huntsville stated that it would both prevent and remove the injurious effects of tobacco.
A lotion of rose-water or distilled water, with Sassafras Pith, filtered after standing for four hours, is recommended for the eyes.
---Dosage---Of fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Of Sassafras bark, 1 to 2 drachms. Of oil of Sassafras, 1 to 5 drops. Mucilage, U.S.P., 4 drachms.
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I prefer it as a tea myself. Chop up a couple of teaspoonsfull of root into small slivers and add a teapot of boiling water. Boil for a minute or two and you'll have it--the nectar of the gods! LOL...

What it looks like:
Sometimes the leaves are bi-lobed rather than tri-lobed and sometimes they aren't lobed at all. But it's very easy to distinguish. The bark is orangy-brown and the roots are generally a strange spreading taproot or tuber which goes straight down and then ends up shooting sideways. They can be tough to rip up when they get bigger so be sure to harvest smaller plants. Digging these things up (esp. in rocky soil) is a b****...BTW please ignore the stems and roots in my hand there...those are not sassafras, but thistle tubers which I intended to eat but never did.


Here's a usable plant:


Which I promptly dug up and took home:D

Go see if you can find some!
PMZ


ETA: Apparently Sassafras also has anti-pest properties. Try drinking (as a friend on BCUSA kindly shared) "a glass a day for a week" and see if chiggers, oatslice and mosquitoes don't avoid you.
(Thanks guys!).


Original: http://berserkersbushcraft.blogspot.com/2009/06/not-just-semi-euphematic-naughty-word.html