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Smilax ornata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Smilacaceae
Genus: Smilax
Species: S. ornata
Binomial name
Smilax ornata
Lem.
Synonyms[2]
  • Smilax grandifolia Regel 1856, not Buckley 1843 nor Voigt 1845 nor Poepp. ex A. DC. 1878
  • Smilax ornata Hook. 1889 not Lem. 1865[1]
  • Smilax regelii Killip & C.V.Morton
  • Smilax utilis Hemsl. 1899, not C.H. Wright 1895

Smilax ornata is a perennial, trailing vine with prickly stems that is native to Mexico and Central America.[3] Common names include sarsaparilla (/ˌsæspəˈrɪlə/ or /ˌsɑːspəˈrɪlə/),[4] Honduran sarsaparilla,[4] and Jamaican sarsaparilla.[4] It is known in Spanish as zarzaparrilla, which is derived from the words zarza meaning "bramble" (from Basque sartzia "bramble"), and parrilla, meaning "little grape vine".[5][6][7][8][9]

Uses[edit]

Smilax ornata was considered by Native Americans to have medicinal properties, and was a popular European treatment for syphilis when it was introduced from the New World. From 1820 to 1910, it was registered in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for syphilis. Modern users claim it is effective for eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, herpes, and leprosy, along with a variety of other complaints.[10] There is no peer-reviewed research available for these claims. There is, however, peer-reviewed research suggesting that S. regelii extracts have in vitro antioxidant properties, like many other herbs.[11]

Smilax ornata is used as the basis for a soft drink, frequently called Sarsaparilla. It is also a primary ingredient in old fashioned-style root beer,[12] in conjunction with sassafras,[13] which was more widely available prior to studies of its potential health risks.[14]

In southern states of India (particularly Tamil Nadu), sarsaparilla is called maahali or mahani, and is pickled and consumed as a 'mix' along with curd rice.

The roots of sarsaparilla (locally known as Nannari roots) is also the key ingredient in a popular summer drink in south India (especially Madurai and surrounding areas). The drink concentrate, commonly referred to as Nannari Sherbet, is made by slightly crushing the roots of sarsaparilla and steeping it in hot water to infuse the flavors. Jaggery syrup and/or sugar solution is added to this to make a concentrate. Nannari roots are termed to have medicinal properties and are typically sold in Ayurvedic stores in India.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tropicos.org". Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  4. ^ a b c "Smilax regelii Killip & C. V. Morton". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  5. ^ Sarsaparilla
  6. ^ Davidse, G. & al. (eds.) (1994). Flora Mesoamericana 6: 1-543. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F..
  7. ^ Balick, M.J., Nee, M.H. & Atha, D.E. (2000). Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Belize with Common Names an Uses: 1-246. New York Botanic Garden Press, New York.
  8. ^ Espejo Serena, A. & López-Ferrari, A.R. (2000). Las Monocotiledóneas Mexicanas una Sinopsis Florística 1(9-11): 1-337. Consejo Nacional de la Flora de México, México D.F..
  9. ^ Nelson Sutherland, C.H. (2008). Catálogo de las plantes vasculares de Honduras. Espermatofitas: 1-1576. SERNA/Guaymuras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  10. ^ "Database Entry: Sarsaparilla – Smilax officinalis, Sarsaparilla, Smilax aristolochiaefolia, Smilax glabra, Sarsaparilla, Smilax febrifuga, Smilx ornata, Chinese sarsaparilla, Smilax regelii, Smilax japicanga". Rain-tree.com. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  11. ^ Cox, Sean D.; Jayasinghe, K. Chamila; Markham, Julie L. (2005). "Antioxidant activity in Australian native sarsaparilla (Smilax glyciphylla)". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 101 (1–3): 162–8. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.04.005. PMID 15885944. 
  12. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. "sarsaparilla (flavouring) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  13. ^ Era, P (1893). The era formulary: 5000 formulas for druggists. A collection of original and prize formulas, to which has been added a selection of formulas from standard authorities in the English, French and German .... D. O. Haynes & company. p. 400. ISBN 978-1-145-42702-0. 
  14. ^ Dietz, B; Bolton, Jl (Apr 2007). "Botanical Dietary Supplements Gone Bad". Chemical research in toxicology 20 (4): 586–90. doi:10.1021/tx7000527. ISSN 0893-228X. PMC 2504026. PMID 17362034. 
  15. ^ "PlantNET – FloraOnline". Plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 

External links[edit]

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