Sarsaparilla is a plant that grows mainly in South America and the Caribbean. Its fruits are used to make soft drinks which taste like root beer and the roots were used in traditional medicine due to their therapeutic properties. Sarsaparilla is frequently used because it is rich in vitamins A, B, C and minerals like Zinc, Sodium, Magnesium, Iron or Copper.
Different health problems like psoriasis, acne, rashes, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, joint pains, high blood pressure, urinary problems, hives, nervous system disorders and even sexual impotence were tread by traditional doctors with Sarsaparilla extract. In the 19th century, it was registered as a legitimate treatment for Syphilis. Recent medical studies confirmed that indeed this plant had great healing properties and identified the compound responsible for this: saponin. This compound acts as a diuretic and helps the body eliminate the endotoxin, responsible for generating strong inflammatory reactions. Sarsaparilla is also very useful for restoring hormonal balance for both men and women. Helping hair grows, raising the levels of testosterone and progesterone, reduce hot flashes, treat impotence and infertility are some of the glandular issues this plant addresses.
Homemade Sarsaparilla Drinks Recipes
Sarsaparilla can be consumed several times a day as an infusion, tincture or dietary supplement, but it’s tastier to use it for making a delicious and refreshing root beer. For the classic recipe, you need a ginger root of 2 or 3 inches, half a cup of sugar or maple syrup and a quart mason jar full of water. Into the pot with water, add a tablespoon of ginger root and two tablespoons of sugar. Stir until the sugar melts and cover it with a cloth. Let it sit for a day and the next week each morning you have to add two more tablespoons of ginger and two of sugar. Mix well and stir a couple more times during the day. After seven days the mix should become bubbly which means it is ready for the next phase of the recipe.
Now you need:
- 2 Tablespoons sassafras root
- 2 teaspoons licorice root
- 2 teaspoons burdock root
- 2 teaspoons sarsaparilla root
- 5 or 6 tongues of astragalus root
- 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
- 1 gallon of filtered water
Boil all the ingredients in a pot and let it rest for about 4 or 5 hours before you strain the liquid and pour it into the jar. Add the bubbly ginger mix created earlier and cover the jar with a cloth. The root beer must brew up to seven more days and it must be stirred 2 or 3 times a day. When ready pour it into bottles that can be covered with a screw and let it sit for a couple more days so it can continue to ferment and create more bubbles. Put the bottles in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process or the bottles could explode due to the building pressure inside.
If you think you would enjoy more a sarsaparilla syrup infusion you need:
- 1 cup sarsaparilla root
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons of licorice root
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups water
Mix all the ingredients in a sealed jar that must be placed in bath water for 2 to 4 hours then moved into icy water for about 20 minutes. Strain the infusion and keep it into the refrigerate to drink it during hot summer days.