Drinking sassafras tea has both its pros and cons. The health benefits tempt you to give it a try. However, you should be aware of its side effects, as well. Find out more about both the health benefits and the side effects of sassafras tea.
About Sassafras Tea
Sassafras tea is made from the roots or leaves of the sassafras tree. This tree can be found in eastern North America and eastern Asia.
The tree’s height varies between 9m and 18m. It has a thick trunk, with many thin branches and a smooth, orange-brown bark. The leaves have three distinct patterns (unlobed, bilobed, trilobed); they have smooth margins and can be 7-20cm long. The trees have small, yellow flowers with five petals, and a blue-black, egg-shaped fruit.
The leaves are often used to season dishes. Also, rootbeer got its name from the oil extracted from sassafras tree root.
How to make Sassafras Tea
Both sassafras tree root and leaves can be used to make a cup of sassafras tea. Add a handful of either root or leaves to a pot of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for about 20 minutes. Once the steeping time is done, strain to clear the liquid.
Sassafras Tea Benefits
Sassafras tea gets many active constituents from either the root or the leaves of the sassafras tree. Some of them include safrole, tannins, mucilage, asarone, and alpha-pinene. This leads to the tea having many health benefits.
Sassafras tea works both as a blood thinner and as a blood purifier. Drinking it also promotes the process of extracting toxins from your body.
Drinking sassafras tea can help if you’ve got a cold or the flu. Also, it can be used in the treatment for bronchitis and gonorrhea.
With sassafras tea, you can also treat liver and kidney problems, urinary tract problems, arthritis and rheumatism. Drinking it will also help reduce menstrual cramps.
Sassafras Tea Side Effects
Among its active constituents, sassafras tea contains saffron, which is considered to trigger liver cancer. More researches are being done, though until it is known for sure, its trade has been restricted. This is why it is recommended that you not drink sassafras tea for a long period of time.
The amount of tea you drink matters, as well. Don’t drink more than 3-4 cups of sassafras tea a day. If you drink too much, you might get hallucinations, heart palpitations, headaches, or you might feel nauseous.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn’t drink sassafras tea, either. It can affect the baby, and even lead to miscarriages during pregnancy.
Sassafras tea has both health benefits and side effects. Before you start consuming it, it’s considered best to talk to your doctor and balance the pros and cons, based on your health. If you’re safe to drink it, then enjoy your cup of sassafras tea!