Sarsaparilla; Uses, Dosage, Site Effects, Interactions

Sarsaparilla; Uses, Dosage, Site Effects, Interactions

Sarsaparilla also is known as Smilax Glabra Rhizome (SGR) was shown to modulate immunity, protect against liver injury, lower blood glucose and suppress cancer. However, its effects on cancer cell adhesion, migration and invasion were unclear. In the present study, we found that the supernatant of a water-soluble extract from SGR (SW) could promote adhesion, inhibit migration and invasion of HepG2, MDA-MB-231 and T24 cells in vitro, as well as suppress metastasis of MDA-MB-231 cells in vivo. Results of F-actin and vinculin dual staining showed the enhanced focal adhesion in SW-treated cells. Microarray analysis indicated a repression of TGF-β1 signaling by SW treatment, which was verified by real-time RT-PCR of TGF-β1-related genes and immunoblotting of TGFBR1 protein. SW was also shown to antagonize TGF-β1-promoted cell migration. Collectively, our study revealed a new antitumor function of Sarsaparilla in counteracting invasiveness of a subset of cancer cells by inhibiting TGF-β1 signaling.

Sarsaparilla, also known as Smilax Glabra Rhizome (SGR), was shown to modulate immunity, protect against liver injury, lower blood glucose and suppress cancer. However, its effects on cancer cell adhesion, migration and invasion were unclear. In the present study, we found that the supernatant of a water-soluble extract from SGR (SW) could promote adhesion, inhibit migration and invasion of HepG2, MDA-MB-231 and T24 cells in vitro, as well as suppress metastasis of MDA-MB-231 cells in vivo. Results of F-actin and vinculin dual staining showed the enhanced focal adhesion in SW-treated cells.

Use / Indications of Sarsaparilla

  • Cancer Prevention – The presence of antioxidants in the root and extract of sarsaparilla has been very useful for cancer researchers around the world looking into more natural and herbal remedies. Although research has not been conclusive, the early results show positive associations between the flavonoid and sterol contents of the plant and a reduction in the spread of cancerous cells. [3] Antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals, the cancer-causing byproducts of cellular respiration, and there are plenty of antioxidants in sarsaparilla!
  • Treats Arthritis Pains – If you are suffering from any sort of inflammatory issue, such as gout, arthritis, or even aching muscles and joints, the active ingredients of sarsaparilla can help alleviate those pains. [4]It contains various compounds, such as saponins, parillin, and other flavonoids that can soothe those flare-ups within the body and alleviate pain and discomfort.
  • Psoriasis – The benefits of sarsaparilla root for treating psoriasis were documented decades ago. One study found that sarsaparilla dramatically improved skin lesions in people with psoriasis. The researchers hypothesized that one of sarsaparilla’s main steroids, called sarsaponin, is able to bind to endotoxins responsible for the lesions in psoriasis patients and remove them from the body.
  • Arthritis – Sarsaparilla is a potent anti-inflammatory. This factor makes it also a useful treatment for inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and other causes of joint pain and the swelling caused by gout.
  • Syphilis – Sarsaparilla has shown activity against harmful bacteria and other microorganisms that have invaded the body. Though it may not work as well as modern-day antibiotics and antifungals, it has been used for centuries to treat major illnesses like leprosy and syphilis. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterium. Leprosy is another devastating infection caused by bacteria. The antimicrobial activity of sarsaparilla has been documented in recent studies. One paper looked at the activity of over 60 different phenolic compounds isolated from sarsaparilla. Researchers tested these compounds against six types of bacteria and one fungus. The study found 18 compounds that demonstrated antimicrobial effects against the bacteria and one against the fungus.
  • Cancer – A recent study showed that sarsaparilla had anticancer properties in cell lines of multiple types of cancers and in mice. Preclinical studies in breast cancer tumors and liver cancer have also shown the antitumor properties of sarsaparilla. More research is needed to find out if sarsaparilla can be used in cancer prevention and treatment.
  • Protecting the liver – Sarsaparilla has also shown protective effects on the liver. Research conducted in rats with liver damage found that compounds rich in flavonoids from sarsaparilla was able to reverse damage to the liver and help it function at its best.
  • Improving the bioavailability of other supplements – Sarsaparilla is used in herbal mixes to act as a “synergist.” In other words, it’s thought that the saponins found in sarsaparilla increase the bioavailability and absorption of other herbs.
  • Increases Sex Drive – One of the more traditional uses of sarsaparilla was to increase the libido of men and women in an effort to increase fertility. [5] Some of the organic compounds found in this root extract have been shown to increase blood flow and boost sperm motility, thereby increasing the chances of conception and improving overall sex drive.
  • Boosts Immune System – The natural antibacterial properties of sarsaparilla berries and the compounds in the roots make this herbal supplement a wonderful way to increase the strength of your immune system. [6] The antibacterial properties can also help prevent infections on the skin and generally improve your response time to cold and other common illnesses.
  • Weight Loss – Although research is still ongoing to determine the exact chemical pathway for this health benefit, it appears that sarsaparilla is able to suppress appetite. [7] This means that for those trying to lose weight, adding this supplement can curb your cravings and keep you from cheating on your diet.
  • Skin Care – The antibacterial properties of sarsaparilla are one reason why the topical application of this extract (in salves and creams) is so popular. The antioxidant content can also improve the appearance and health of the skin. [8] By eliminating wrinkles and reducing the appearance of age spots, when applied or consumed, it can keep you looking young!
  • Detoxifies the Body – Sarsaparilla has long been used as a diuretic, which means that it stimulates urination in those who consume it. For people who want to purify their body or detoxify in some way, a diuretic can eliminate excess fats, salts, toxins, and water from the body. Furthermore, it has been known to purify the blood, thereby increasing overall health and reducing strain on the liver and kidneys. [9]
  • Anti-Tumor and Cancer Preventative Properties – The presence of antioxidants in the root and extract of sarsaparilla has been very useful for cancer treatment. The high concentration of natural steroids and saponins reduce the multiplication and spread of cancerous cells. Antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals, the cancer-causing byproducts of cellular respiration.
  • Treats Arthritis Pains – Any sort of inflammatory issue, such as gout, arthritis, or even aching muscles and joints can be cured by the active ingredients of sarsaparilla. It contains various compounds, such as saponins, parillin, and other flavonoids that can pacify those flare-ups within the body and alleviate pain and discomfort associated with it.
  • Amps Immunity – The natural antibacterial properties of sarsaparilla berries and the compounds in the roots increase the strength of our immune system. Sarsaparilla is often used to arrest seasonal colds and flu from occurring and also to cure symptoms including coughs, respiratory difficulties, and fevers. It boosts the proper functioning of the immune system. Sarsaparilla supplements and teas are used to help treat the common symptoms of colds and flu by eliminating the build-up of mucus in the sinuses and respiratory system.It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help loosen phlegm and mucus allowing it to pass from a person’s body more easily.
  • Detoxifying the Body -Sarsaparilla possesses diuretic properties. It can stimulate the production of urine and promote sweating. This is useful to relieve any build-up of fluid, puffiness and swelling. Sarsaparilla promotes the detox process by binding to toxins like bacterial cells in the gastrointestinal tract which prevents them from doing damage in the blood stream.
  • Skin Care – Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of sarsaparilla is an effective natural remedy for eczema, acne, psoriasis, bites, minor wounds, and rashes.
  • Weight loss – Sarsaparilla is able to suppress appetite and thus help a person to curb undesired hunger. It indirectly helps to shred off weight without cheating on the diet.
  • Sarsaparilla has been used for treating syphilis, leprosy, psoriasis, and other ailments.
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Dosage of Sarsaparilla

  • Typical doses of sarsaparilla for a variety of uses ranging from 0.3 to 2 g/day of the powdered root.

or

  • 200-1000 mg of standardized root extract two to three times daily.

References

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