Sarsaparilla is used for treating psoriasis and other skin diseases, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and kidney disease; for increasing urination to reduce fluid retention; and for increasing sweating. Sarsaparilla is also used along with conventional drugs for treating leprosy and for syphilis.

Athletes sometimes use sarsaparilla as a steroid for performance enhancement or bodybuilding. Some supplement makers claim that chemicals (sterols) in sarsaparilla can be converted to anabolic steroids like testosterone. But this is a false claim. The sterols contained in sarsaparilla are not anabolic steroids nor are they converted in the body to anabolic steroids. Testosterone has never been detected in any plant, including sarsaparilla.

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  • Sarsparilla
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of sarsaparilla during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

    Asthma: Exposure to sarsaparilla root dust can cause runny nose and the symptoms of asthma.

    Kidney disease: Sarsaparilla might make kidney disease worse. Avoid sarsaparilla if you have kidney problems.
  • The appropriate dose of sarsaparilla depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for sarsaparilla. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.