It is the main ingredient in traditional root beer and sassafras root tea, and ground leaves of sassafras are a distinctive additive in Louisiana Creole cuisine. Methods of cooking with sassafras combine this ingredient native to America with traditional North American, as well as European, culinary techniques, to create a unique blend of Creole cuisine, and are thought by some to be heavily influenced by a blend of cultures.
Sassafras leaves and flowers have also been used in salads, and to flavor fats or cure meats. Numerous Native American tribes used the leaves of sassafras to treat wounds by rubbing the leaves directly into a wound and used different parts of the plant for many medicinal purposes such as treating acne, urinary disorders, and sicknesses that increased body temperature, such as high fevers.
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Different parts of the sassafras plant including the leaves and stems, the bark, and the roots have been used to treat. It is also used as a fungicide, dentifrice, rubefacient, diaphoretic, perfume, carminative and sudorific. Before the twentieth century, Sassafras enjoyed a great reputation in the medical literature, but became valued for its power to improve the flavor of other medicines. Sassafras wood and oil were both used in dentistry.
Sassafras, An Illegal Substance That Grows Wild In Our Back Yards - Eat The Planet
Early toothbrushes were crafted from sassafras twigs or wood because of its aromatic properties. Sassafras albidum is often grown as an ornamental tree for its unusual leaves and aromatic scent. Outside of its native area, it is occasionally cultivated in Europe and elsewhere. Steam distillation of dried root bark produces an essential oil which has a high safrole content, as well as significant amounts of varying other chemicals such as camphor , eugenol including 5-methoxyeugenol , asarone , and various sesquiterpenes.
Sassafras - Sassafras albidum
Many other trees contain similarly high percentages and their extracted oils are sometimes referred to as sassafras oil,  which once was extensively used as a fragrance in perfumes and soaps, food and for aromatherapy. Safrole is a precursor for the clandestine manufacture of the drugs MDA and MDMA , and as such, sales and import of sassafras oil as a safrole-containing mixture of above-threshold concentration are heavily restricted in the US.
Sassafras oil has also been used as a natural insect or pest deterrent, and in liqueurs such as the opium-based Godfrey's , and in homemade liquor to mask strong or unpleasant smells. For a more detailed description of uses by indigenous peoples of North America, and a history of the commercial use of Sassafras albidum by Europeans in the United States in the 16th and 17th centuries, see the article on the extant North American species of sassafras, Sassafras albidum. In modern times, the sassafras plant has been grown and harvested for the extraction of sassafras oil.
It is used in a variety of commercial products [ which? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the various species of the sassafras tree of the Northern Hemisphere; for the North American sassafras, see Sassafras albidum. For other uses, see Sassafras disambiguation. See culinary uses of Sassafras albidum for more information on culinary use specific to the extant North American species, and legislation in the United States restricting the use of products derived from sassafras.
Retrieved New York and Oxford — via eFloras. The sassafras is an ornamental tree. Plant Systematics and Evolution. Page Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. American Forests. Providence, RI: The Library. Archived from the original on Florida Ethnobotany.
CRC Press. Taihoku Bot. In Burns, Russell M. Silvics of North America. Washington, D. Physiology of woody plants 3rd ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier. Frederick eds. Chemical Research in Toxicology. Toxnet: Toxicology Data Network.
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Ballantine Books. Rodale Books. Klemow, Ph. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Dental Digest. Nabu Press. Cambridge University Press. University of Nebraska Press. Adverse Effects of Herbal Drugs. The flowers of the sassafras tree give way to dark blue fruit, or drupes, favored by a variety of birds. Leaves and twigs of the tree are eaten by other wildlife such as deer , cottontails and even beaver. The bark of the tree has a wrinkled appearance. While the tree has a propensity for multiple trunks, it can easily be trained into a single trunk.
Sassafras trees are cold hardy in USDA zones If you fall into this category and the above sassafras info intrigues you, you may be wondering how to grow sassafras trees. Sassafras trees will grow in part shade to part sun and are soil tolerant. They will grow in clay , loam, sand and acidic soils provided there is adequate drainage. This moderate grower has a surface root system, which does not cause any problems; however, it has a very long and deep tap root that makes transplanting larger specimens a challenge.
Pruning these ornamental beauties is rarely a necessity except initially to develop a strong structure. Otherwise, sassafras tree care is straightforward.
Provide the tree with adequate irrigation but do not overwater or allow sitting in sodden soils. The tree is fairly drought tolerant as well. Sassafras trees are susceptible to v erticillium wilt but other than that are fairly pest resistant. Sassafras trees are male or female and while both flower, the male being the showier bloomer, only the females bear fruit. You must plant both male and female trees if you wish for fruit production. Read more articles about Sassafras. Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden.
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