What Does Sarsaparilla Taste Like?

You might be wondering what does sarsaparilla tastes like? The plant is a tropical woody vine found throughout Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. This perennial herb comes from the Smilax Ornata plant and is used as bitter medicine. The flavor is bitter, and many consumers prefer it over coke, Pepsi, ginger beer, and root beer. Its flavor is said to be reminiscent of whey during lactation.

Native people have used the plant for centuries to treat various ailments. In the 1800s, it was made into a drink similar to root beer and has since become a household name. You might even find it in your local grocery store! Children should avoid sarsaparilla, containing high amounts of caffeine.

What Is Sarsaparilla?

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Save this

Enter your email below and I'll email this post to you -- no strings and no further emails unless you ask for them.

The sarsaparilla plant, or smilax, is a perennial plant found mainly in hot, tropical, and temperate regions. It was first used by the indigenous people of South and Central America as a remedy for coughs, skin diseases, and many other ailments. In the United States, it was registered as a drug in the U.S. Pharmacopeia from 1820 to 1910. It has a bitter taste, similar to that of root beer, and it has been used as a syrup and made into root beer. Traditionally, it has also been consumed as an herbal drink.

The herb is a diuretic and blood cleanser, and its root is regarded as a tonic. It is believed to be a descendant of root beer and used as a medicinal herb for centuries. However, there is a long and complex history behind the drink. Despite its many uses, sarsaparilla has been a popular beverage worldwide.

What Does Sarsaparilla Taste Like?

The plant sarsaparilla is black in color and is similar to root beer in appearance and taste. It has a sour flavor similar to a combination of licorice, caramel, and vanilla. But unlike root beer, sarsaparilla is more potent, and some people prefer it to root beer. But for others, sarsaparilla is an enjoyable drink that can relieve many ailments.

Its sweet and sugary flavor has been compared to root beer by some. Other ingredients, such as herbs, are added to the drink, giving it a distinct medicinal flavor.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Sarsaparilla?

The use of sarsaparilla root to treat psoriasis has been documented for decades. Sarsaparilla significantly improved skin lesions in people with psoriasis, according to one studyTrusted Source. The researchers theorized that sarsaponin, one of the sarsaparilla’s prominent steroids, can bind to endotoxins that cause psoriasis lesions and remove them from the body.

Arthritis (arthritis)
Sarsaparilla has anti-inflammatory properties, and this property makes it an effective treatment for inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and other causes of joint pain and gout-related swelling.

The disease syphilis
Sarsaparilla has been shown to have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties against bacteria and other microorganisms infiltrating the body. It has been used for centuries to treat major illnesses such as Hansen’s disease (leprosy) and syphilis, though it may not work as well as modern antibiotics and antifungals. Syphilis is a bacterial-caused sexually transmitted disease, and another bacterial infection that can be fatal is Hansen’s disease (leprosy). Recent studies have shown that sarsaparilla has antimicrobial properties. Over 60 different phenolic compounds isolated from sarsaparilla were studied in one study. The compounds were tested against six different bacteria and one fungus. The study discovered 18 compounds against bacteria and one compound with antimicrobial properties against fungus.

Cancer                                                                                                                                                                          Sarsaparilla was found to have anti-cancer properties in cell lines from various cancers and mice in a recent study. Sarsaparilla’s antitumor properties have also been demonstrated in preclinical studies in breast cancer tumors and liver cancer. More research is needed to determine whether sarsaparilla can be used to prevent and treat cancer.

Keeping the liver healthy
Sarsaparilla has also been shown to protect the liver. Compounds rich in flavonoids from sarsaparilla were found to reverse damage to the liver and help it function at its best in rats with liver damage.

Improving other supplements’ bioavailability
Sarsaparilla is used as a “synergist” in herbal blends. In other words, sarsaparilla saponins are thought to increase the bioavailability and absorption of other herbs.

What Is The Difference Between Sarsaparilla And Root Beer?

  1. The first distinction between these two drinks is the ingredients they contain. The sarsaparilla vine was used to produce sarsaparilla, along with other spices, and the root of the sassafras tree was used to make root beer.
    While both beverages were created by Native Americans, sarsaparilla is more prevalent in Southeast Asia.
  2. Members of the sarsaparilla plant, such as S. regime, S. Officinalis, S. papyracea, and S. medica, are used in sarsaparilla. Non-natural ingredients and wintergreen, cinnamon, and anise may be found in root beer.
  3. Another distinction between these two drinks is their popularity. Sarsaparilla is available in Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines, Taiwan, and Malaysia. Root beer is still trendy in North America, and it’s starting to catch on in South America.
    Although these two beverages appear to be very similar, their flavors are not the same. Vanilla, mint, and licorice are all flavors found in sarsaparilla. Root beer is sweeter than regular beer, with licorice, cloves, and honey hints.
  4. Because of their medicinal properties, people used to drink sarsaparilla and root beer. Sarsaparilla is now used to produce teas and soft drinks to combat illness. Root beer lacks medicinal properties due to its high sugar content and artificial ingredients.
  5. The presence of alcohol or caffeine is the final distinction between these two beverages. Sarsaparilla is caffeine-free and never contains alcohol, though it may contain guarana or another energy-boosting ingredient. On the other hand, Root beer can be alcoholic and contain caffeine.

Is It Healthier To Drink Sarsaparilla Or Root Beer?

Sarsaparilla and root beer were once used as tonics for various ailments. However, they are now primarily produced for commercial purposes as a soft drink flavor. Sarsaparilla and root beer are not particularly healthy due to their high sugar content.

If you can locate an authentic sarsaparilla drink, this may be the healthier option, as it aids in inflammation reduction and has antibacterial properties. On the other hand, Root beer has lost many medicinal properties, mainly since it no longer contains sassafras bark.
However, finding sarsaparilla prepared traditionally may be difficult, and you may have to look for local producers.

If you’re drinking sarsaparilla or root beer, make sure it’s organic or homemade. Because these options are lower in sugar, coloring, and preservatives, they are less harmful to your health. If you want to improve your health, drink either of these beverages in moderation.

What Is The Reason For The Prohibition Of Sarsaparilla?

Sarsaparilla contains safrole, a carcinogenic compound that was recently banned by the FDA. They were banned because safrole and sassafras or sarsaparilla-containing products were found to cause liver cancer in rats when given in high doses. The amount and duration of alcohol consumed to increase the risk of developing cancer. Sassafras bark, oil, and safrole are currently prohibited as flavorings or food additives by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. One of the sassafras’ most severe potential dangers is their link to cancer. After research showed that sassafras caused cancer in rats, the FDA banned its use in 1979.

Where Can We Use Sarsaparilla?

  • In addition to being a bitter herbal remedy, sarsaparilla has been used for centuries to treat different kinds of infections. It was even listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia in the nineteenth century. Its taste has been described as a combination of licorice, caramel, and wintergreen. Traditionally, the root of sarsaparilla was used to make syrup, root beer, and other beverages. The Indian version has a strong vanilla flavor.
  • The plant is primarily found in the American southwest and in Central America. Its roots have medicinal properties and can be used for many different purposes. It was initially used by Native Americans for curing coughs and colds. The Penobscot Indians made tea from the leaves and drank it for centuries to ease sore throats and nasal passageways. Although sarsaparilla tastes similar to licorice, it differs in its flavor from root beer.
  • Its unique medicinal properties have made it a popular drug for centuries. Its high sugar content makes it a popular option for drinking.


The origin of sarsaparilla is unknown. The plant is indigenous to South and Central America and was used for medicinal purposes by the indigenous people. The sassafras plant is a perennial shrub and is widely available. It is used for various ailments, including coughs and skin ailments. The root has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has long been considered a popular remedy in the United States and India.

The roots of sarsaparilla are used as a spice and in herbal medicine. They can be used for cooking and making tea, and the roots are used to make sarsaparilla soda. In addition to being used in medicine, sarsaparilla is also a popular plant in the USA. One of its benefits is its medicinal properties. Its root is a part of ginseng, which contains anti-inflammatory chemical compounds.