Sarsaparilla Root (Nannari): Benefits of Natures Wonder Root

Are you curious about the incredible benefits of Sarsaparilla and its root? You’ve come to the right place! 

At Moolihai Australia, we’re passionate about bringing you the finest natural products, including our premium Sarsaparilla Powder, Dried Sarsaparilla Root, and Nannari Manapagu Syrup. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about this remarkable plant – from its rich history and potential health benefits to its various uses and any precautions you should keep in mind.

Sarsaparilla, scientifically known as Smilax ornata, has been used for centuries in traditional medicine systems around the world. 

This woody, climbing vine is native to tropical regions and has captured the attention of health enthusiasts and researchers alike. 

Sarsaparilla is also known by various other names in different languages and regions, including:

  • Spanish: Zarzaparilla, Salsaparrilha
  • Thai: Khao yen
  • Sanskrit: Saparna
  • Latin: Smilace, Smilax
  • Italian: Liseron epineux, Salsepareille
  • Chinese: Ba qia

Now, let’s embark on our journey to uncover the secrets of Sarsaparilla!

What is Sarsaparilla ?

Sarsaparilla’s story is as fascinating as the plant itself. Indigenous peoples across South America, Jamaica, the Caribbean, Mexico, Honduras, and the West Indies have long revered this plant for its medicinal properties.

 They used the root to address various health concerns, from joint problems like arthritis to skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Ancient Peruvians are believed to be among the first to recognize Sarsaparilla’s pain-relieving properties, using it to treat headaches, joint pain, and ailments associated with colds and flu. Native American tribes made soothing teas from Sarsaparilla roots to calm sore throats and clear stuffy noses.

As European explorers encountered this remarkable plant, they quickly recognized its potential. Sarsaparilla soon found its way into European medicine and eventually made its mark in the United States Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for syphilis. Its popularity continued to grow, and by the early 1800s, Sarsaparilla had become a household name, not just for its medicinal uses but also as a refreshing beverage.

Interestingly, the popular Sarsaparilla drink of the 19th century wasn’t always made from the actual Sarsaparilla plant. Many versions used sassafras instead, creating a flavor profile similar to root beer. Charles E. Hires first experimented with Sarsaparilla in his Philadelphia pharmacy in 1869, selling root beer made with Sarsaparilla as a cold drink at the Centennial Exposition in 1876 in Philadelphia.

In the Wild West, cowboys of the 1800s learned about Sarsaparilla from Native Americans. It was popular as a spring tonic to “eliminate poison from the blood and tissues, purify metabolic toxins left after a hard winter, and rehabilitate the body for the rest of the year.” It was even thought to cure syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases – it wasn’t unusual for cowboys to order Sarsaparilla after spending the night at a brothel!

Today, while the traditional Sarsaparilla beverage is less common in the West, it remains popular in parts of Southeast Asia. Modern versions of the drink often use artificial flavors rather than the actual plant extracts.

For example in India, the famous Nannari Sharbath made out of sarsaparilla root is a very famous drink during the summer season.

The Potential Health Benefits of Sarsaparilla

At Moolihai Australia, we’re excited about the potential health benefits that Sarsaparilla may offer. While more research is needed to confirm these effects in humans, preliminary studies and traditional use suggest several promising applications:

May Have Anti-inflammatory Properties

Sarsaparilla contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds that may help alleviate symptoms of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and gout. These properties could potentially reduce joint pain and swelling, offering relief to those suffering from inflammatory conditions. Animal studies have shown that chemicals called saponins in Sarsaparilla have anti-inflammatory effects similar to aspirin.

May Provide Skin Health Support

For centuries, people have turned to Sarsaparilla for skin ailments. Its potential benefits for skin health are particularly intriguing when it comes to conditions like psoriasis. Some research suggests that a compound in Sarsaparilla called sarsaponin may help bind to endotoxins responsible for psoriasis lesions, potentially improving skin health.

One study found that the antioxidants in Sarsaparilla root may prevent oxidative stress and skin aging from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Additionally, a flavonoid called astilbin, found in Sarsaparilla rhizomes, shows promise in treating psoriasis by preventing the overproduction of keratinocytes in the skin.

May Have Antioxidant Effects

Sarsaparilla is rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants may contribute to overall health and potentially support anti-aging effects. The plant contains various antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic acids.

May Improve Liver Protection

Some studies suggest that Sarsaparilla may have liver-protective properties. Research conducted on animals with liver damage found that flavonoid-rich compounds from Sarsaparilla could help restore liver function and reverse damage. This supports the traditional use of Sarsaparilla as a detoxifying agent.

May Help in Potential Antimicrobial Activity

Historically, Sarsaparilla was used to treat infections like syphilis and leprosy. While modern antibiotics are more effective for these conditions, recent research has shown that Sarsaparilla does indeed possess some antimicrobial properties against certain bacteria and fungi. One study found 18 compounds in Sarsaparilla that demonstrated antimicrobial effects against various types of bacteria and one against a fungus.

May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties

Early research suggests that Sarsaparilla may have potential anticancer properties. Studies on cell lines and in animals have shown promising results, but it’s important to note that much more research is needed in this area before any definitive claims can be made. Some studies have found that Sarsaparilla extract can inhibit the growth and migration of cancer cells, possibly by reducing TGF-β1 signaling, which is involved in tumor development and growth.

Said to Improve Kidney Health

Some research suggests that astilbin, a flavonoid derived from Sarsaparilla species, may help improve kidney function. As an antioxidant, astilbin appears to suppress oxidative stress and offer some kidney protection. However, it’s important to note that unless you have severe kidney disease, your body doesn’t need additional “detoxifying” beyond what your kidneys naturally do.

May Offer Hormonal Balance

Historically, Sarsaparilla was considered a cure for baldness. Modern research suggests there might be some truth to this claim. The plant sterols found in Sarsaparilla closely resemble testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. While these plant hormones are not identical to human hormones, they may help maintain proper levels of testosterone and progesterone, which could potentially support hair growth.

May Act as Bioavailability Enhancer

Sarsaparilla is known as a “synergist” because it’s believed to increase the bioavailability and absorption of other herbs. This effect is thought to be due to the high amount of saponins contained within the herb.

How to Use Sarsaparilla

At Moolihai Australia, we offer Sarsaparilla in various forms to suit your preferences:

Sarsaparilla Powder: 

Our finely ground Sarsaparilla powder can be easily added to smoothies, teas, or used in baking for a unique flavor and potential health boost.

Dried Sarsaparilla Root:

 Perfect for making your own teas or decoctions, our dried root maintains all the natural goodness of Sarsaparilla.

Nannari Manapagu Syrup: 

This traditional Indian preparation combines Sarsaparilla with other healthful ingredients for a delicious and refreshing drink.

When it comes to dosage, it’s always best to start small and see how your body responds. A typical dose for Sarsaparilla powder might be 1-4 grams daily, but this can vary depending on the individual and the intended use. 

For tinctures, a suggested dose is 5 to 10 milliliters (mL) per day. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Side Effects and Precautions

While Sarsaparilla is generally considered safe for most people, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects and take necessary precautions:

Digestive Issues: Some people may experience stomach irritation when consuming large amounts of Sarsaparilla. If you notice any discomfort, reduce your intake or discontinue use.

Allergic Reactions: As with any plant product, allergic reactions are possible. If you experience symptoms like rashes, itching, or difficulty breathing, stop use immediately and seek medical attention.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Due to limited research, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using Sarsaparilla unless directed by a healthcare provider.

Drug Interactions: Sarsaparilla may interact with certain medications by altering their absorption. It may affect how much digoxin (a heart medication) is absorbed into the body. It might also increase the effects of diuretics and reduce methotrexate blood levels. Always consult your doctor before adding Sarsaparilla to your routine, especially if you’re taking other medications.

Choosing Quality Sarsaparilla Products

When shopping for Sarsaparilla products, it’s crucial to choose high-quality sources. At Moolihai Australia, we pride ourselves on offering premium Sarsaparilla products that are ethically sourced and carefully processed to maintain their natural benefits.

Take a look at our raw sarsaparilla root, sarsaparilla root powder and nannari manapagu syrup which can be very beneficial to your health routine. Nannari Syrup can be used as a refreshing drink throughout the year.


Sarsaparilla is truly a fascinating plant with a rich history and promising potential for supporting health and wellbeing. From its traditional uses in treating skin conditions and joint pain to its modern applications as a natural supplement, Sarsaparilla continues to captivate health enthusiasts around the world.At Moolihai Australia, we’re committed to bringing you the highest quality Sarsaparilla products, allowing you to explore the benefits of this remarkable plant for yourself. Whether you’re interested in our Sarsaparilla Powder, Dried Sarsaparilla Root, or Nannari Manapagu Syrup, we invite you to experience the wonder of Sarsaparilla.Remember, while the potential benefits of Sarsaparilla are exciting, it’s always important to approach any new supplement with caution. Listen to your body, start with small doses, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.Are you ready to discover the magic of Sarsaparilla? Browse through our shop to explore our range of premium Sarsaparilla products and start your journey towards natural wellness today!

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