I live in southern mississippi, and I am looking for sarsaparilla to
plant in my herb garden - we love root beer here, and my sister has
been experimenting with teas - we would like to grow our own... Does
anyone know how I can get some to grow for ourselves?
I am trying to find a source for sarsaparilla for us to grow - We are
in Southern Mississippi... we love root beer, and my sister has started
making teas with what she finds at the herb shops, but we want to grow
it, not buy it in bulk...
I have searched Burpee's, and done google searches looking for a
source... does anyone have ideas on where to obtain some?
When I was a young boy, we had a terrible storm in Kentucky where we lived.
The wind had blow down many trees including a Sarsaparilla tree. (At least
that's what my grand dad called it) He cut off several of the roots and
boiled them in a large kettle of water and added a lot of sugar. Best root
beer I have ever drank.
I don't know if you can find sarsaparilla herbs, but I have found a
concentrated liquid form in the food stores that can be diluted and brewed
into a good non carbonated drink.
Think it is frowned upon today as possible carcinogen:
Safrole is the offending ingredient but I see here it is also in black
On 4/28/05 2:02 PM not too long ago, Bear Drummer attempted to enlighten
You are looking for the wrong thing, I believe. Sarsaparilla is a vine
and not really used to make root beer. You are most likely thinking of
the Sassafras tree whose roots are used to make "root" beer. In your
searches did you find this?:
Sarsaparilla is an extract from the roots of Smilax officinalis.
Its use in root beer was for the foam (head) it creates, not for
You want either sasparilla (different from sarsaparilla) or
sassafras, each of which (or together in combination) have been
used to FLAVOR root beer. Sasparilla is extracted from the roots
of Aralia nudicaulis, a perennial. Sassafras is extracted from the
roots of Sassafras officinale or Sassafras albidum, both of which
Sarsaparilla, sasparilla, and sassafras are all toxic in
significant quantities. Thus, care should be taken in how strong
you make your root beer and how much you drink in a day.
Producers of illegal drugs use safrole and isosafrole, derived from
the oil of sassafras root bark, as a precursor in the manufacture
of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (known as MDMA, ecstasy, XTC, and
Adam). The use of sassafras as a flavoring was banned by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration in 1960 after safrole was found to be
hepatocarcinogenic (liver-cancer-causing) in the rat.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Anyone who has ever pulled up a sassafras sapling knows instantly that the
roots smell exactly like root beer......They grow like weeds in the woods of
the Southeast. However, I didn't know this until I started clearing some
underbrush from the woods behind my house in north Florida.
that would be the sassafras tree. And you'd have to boil the whole damn
thing to get a toxic ticturn. And the person saying there was something at
the store, is speaking of the bottled concentrate (it's not THAT strong) is
called "Pappy Sassafras" and it's safe to use. I would suspect living in
Mississippi youi have it growing in the woods and just don't know it. Ask an
older person. They'll point out the palmate leaves and you can dig up a
sapling. I have six of them given me by the southern fairies and will
encourage them to grow as they are also beautiful trees in the fall.
The Root Beer Concentrate I wrote about is called just that "Root Beer
It is from McCormick.
A 2.0 Ounce bottle of concentrate will make 5 Gallons of Root Beer. That
seems pretty strong to me!
A URL for this product may be found at:
Contains no sassafras. Sassafras oil was banned as a food additive by the
FDA. They said it was because it's a mild carcinogen, but probably the real
reason is that the main chemical is a precursor to the recreational drug
ecstacy, and the government wanted to shut down the X labs in the US.
-- spud_demon -at- thundermaker.net
The above may not (yet) represent the opinions of my employer.
You may buy a Sassafras tree from Nature Hills Nursery. The price for a 4'
tree is $21.95 + delivery.
Copy the URL below into your browser for more details.
the range for sassafrass is well up into NH, so being a
damyankee shouldn't play into finding one ;)
look for the tree with leaves that look like mittens (some
have two "thumbs") & has bright yellow/orange/red fall color.
I'm jealous. I live in Eastern Washington and I've never seen one
around here. I admit to not looking that hard, but I think I'd
recognize one if I saw it. After all, they were thick in Kentucky where
I grew up - and dug sassafras every spring. Wild ginseng too :-).
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