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Smilax febrifuga - Kunth

Common Name Ecuadorian Sarsaparilla
Family Smilacaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range S. America - Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Smilax febrifuga Ecuadorian Sarsaparilla


D.Solano sura.ots.ac.cr
Smilax febrifuga Ecuadorian Sarsaparilla
D.Solano sura.ots.ac.cr

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Summary

Smilax febrifuga, otherwise known as Ecuadorian Sarsaparilla, is a perennial climbing flowering plant growing up to 15 m long. It can be found in South America particularly in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Guyana. Root extracts of this species is used as flavoring in beverages, ice cream, confectionery, and bakery products. Medicinally, the plant is used against inflammation and itch, to improve digestion, and as an antiseptic. Plant decoction is used for fevers, digestive problems, kidney problems, gonorrhea, skin conditions, and rheumatism.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Smilax febrifuga is an evergreen Climber growing to 12 m (39ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Smilax purhampuy Ruiz

Habitats

Edible Uses

Root extracts are used to flavour soft drinks ice cream, confectionery and bakery products[238 ].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



Ecuadorian sarsaparilla (the roots and rhizome) is a sweet, acrid, alterative herb that reduces inflammation, controls itching, improves digestion and elimination and is antiseptic[238 ]. This is one of three species (the others are S. Aristolochiifolia and S. regelii) that gained a high reputation in the 17th century as cure-alls[238 ]. They were widely imported into Europe until early in the 20th century, by which time their rather overrated reputation had waned somewhat. However, the plants do have a number of important medicinal benefits - in particular, their roots contain steroidal saponins which are an efective treatment for many cases of psoriasis; they also have hormonal effects, and may improve fertility in women with ovarian dysfunction[238 ]. The rhizomes are alterative, digestive, febrifuge[46 , 238 ]. A decoction is used in the treatment of fevers, digestive disorders, kidney troubles and gonorrhoea[46 ]. It is also used against scrophulus, skin diseases and rheumatism[46 ].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in sun or partial shade[200 ]. Tolerant of a range of soil types[200 ].

Propagation

Seed -

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

ecuadorian sarsaparilla, sarsaparilla, sarsaparillae radix, sarsaparillewurzel.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Smilax aristolochiifoliaMexican Sarsaparilla24
Smilax asperaSarsaparilla, Rough bindweed33
Smilax auriculataEarleaf Greenbrier22
Smilax bona-noxGreenbriar, Saw greenbrier, Dunes saw greenbrier32
Smilax chinaChina Root43
Smilax cordifolia 10
Smilax discotis 10
Smilax glabratufuling23
Smilax glaucaCat Greenbrier22
Smilax glyciphyllaSarsparilla11
Smilax herbaceaCarrion Flower, Smooth carrionflower41
Smilax hispidaHag Briar22
Smilax lanceifolia 21
Smilax laurifoliaLaurel Greenbrier32
Smilax nipponica 32
Smilax officinalisHonduran sarsaparilla24
Smilax pseudochinaFalse China Root32
Smilax riparia 20
Smilax rotundifoliaHorse Brier, Roundleaf greenbrier, Brambles32
Smilax sieboldii 10
Smilax tamnoidesBristly Greenbrier22
Smilax trinervula 10

 

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Author

Kunth

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Smilax febrifuga  
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