Sassafras has been used for centuries as a tonic to cleanse the liver and blood, which thus helps to alleviate internally caused skin ailments, such as acne, Eczema, and psoriasis, as well as relieve Gout, Arthritis, Rheumatism, and liver ailments. It is said to help the body rid itself of toxins and pollutants through efficient removal of wastes.
Sassafras is very common in Virginia, and it can be a shrub or a tree. As a tree, it can grow up to 60 feet. Sassafras has three differently shaped leaves: three-lobed (see above), mitten-shaped and simple (no lobes). Leaves are three to five inches long. In fall, they turn red, yellow and Orange. Sassafras are most often seen as an under story shrub beneath larger trees, such as Virginia Pine, Eastern White Pine, Sweetgum, Yellow Poplar, or oaks. They often grow alongside Black Cherry, American Beech, American Hornbeam, Eastern Red Cedar, as well as others. Sassafras is allelopathic to some plants, such as American Elm. This means it releases a chemical which keeps these plants from growing well. This allows Sassafras to grow better, without so much competition.
Sassafras has been used as a general tonic that restores and nourishes the body's overall good health. More importantly, it has also been used as an alterative, or agent that cleanses and stimulates the efficient removal of waste products from the system and purifies the blood, frequently favorably altering overall health.
As a diuretic, Sassafras promotes increased urine flow and helps to rid the kidneys and bladder of impurities, and this action also facilitates the flushing of uric acid and other toxins from the system, which makes it most useful in the treatment of Gout, Arthritis and rheumatic conditions. Moreover, these blood-cleansing qualities are also believed to make it an excellent treatment for all internally caused skin disorders such as acne, Eczema and psoriasis.
The diuretic action of increased urine flow, in addition to Sassafras's antiseptic properties, help to clear the urinary tract of various infections, such ---- cystitis, etc.
Sassafras is a diaphoretic that stimulates perspiration and sweating, which not only cools the body and lowers Fever, but also helps to expel toxic wastes through the skin. It should be pointed that all the above cleansing actions work to purify the blood and rid the body of pollutants.
Sassafras has been known to help gastrointestinal complaints, particularly as a carminative, or substance that relieves intestinal gas pain and distension.
Sassafras is considered an antiseptic or substance that combats and neutralizes pathogenic Bacteria and prevents infection. It has been used to treat syphilis, gonorrhea, and dysentery.
Regarding women's health, Sassafras has been used to correct dysmenorrhea, a condition marked by painful and difficult menstruation, usually by promoting and regulating menstrual flow.
There are some claims that Sassafras may have antiviral properties, helping to relieve Herpes, Measles and shingles.