Feb 19, 2014
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SASSAFRAS

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Sassafras officinale. N.O. Lauraceae.

Synonym ► Kuntze.

Habitat ► West Indies—imported from U.S.A

Features ► Rootbark is a bright, rusty brown, soft and brittle. Short, corky, layered fracture, with many oil cells. Chips of the woody root are commonly used—they are brownish-white in colour, showing concentric rings and slender medullary rays.

Part used ► Root, bark of root.

Action ► Stimulant, diaphoretic (according to Coffin mildly antiseptic and detergent also).

Combined with alteratives for the treatment of skin eruptions and uric and other acid complaints. A decoction of 1 ounce to 1 pint (reduced) is taken in frequent wineglass doses. The decoction is sometimes used externally for ophthalmia.

Powdered Sassafras root was formerly (and in some places still is) sold as a substitute for tea or coffee, under the name of salap or saloop.

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Herbal Manual

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