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sarsaparilla

Pronunciation: sar'sa-pa-ril'a

Definition: The dried root of Smilax aristolochiaefolia (Mexican sarsaparilla), S. regelii (Honduras sarsaparilla), S. febrifuga (Ecuadorian sarsaparilla), or of undetermined species of Smilax (family Liliaceae), a thorny vine widely distributed throughout the tropic and semitropic world; it has been used in treatments of psoriasis, gout, rheumatism, and syphilis, and popularly as a “blood purifier” and in a soft drink.

[Sp. zarza, a bramble]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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