Sarsaparilla refers to the flavor which was originally derived from the dried roots of tropical smilax vines. Today, products featuring Sarsaparilla use artificial flavors. Sarsaparilla is native to South America, Jamaica, Mexico, and other parts of the Caribbean. It is been used throughout the world for many centuries, and in more recent history, since the 1400’s, where it was introduced into European medicine by contact with the indigenous tribes in South America. The word Sarsaparilla, or ‘Zarzaparilla’ comes from the Spanish ‘Zarza’, meaning a bramble, and ‘parilla’, a vine. It is a woody vine that grows up to 50 meter long, and produces small flowers in black, blue or red berry-like fruits. It is the tuberous root, which is odourless and tasteless, that is used for medicinal purposes. Sarsaparilla became popular in Europe in the mid 1500’s, and was traded mainly through Jamaica into Europe. It was prized as highly medicinal with many healthy properties. It has many properties. Detoxifying, pain relief, blood cleansing and helps to stimulate digestion. It has also been used for the treatment of arthritis and the common cold. Sexual impotence, syphilis, gonorrhoea, rheumatism, wounds , fever, coughs, hypertension, digestive disorders, skin diseases, and cancer. There are no known side-effects for Sarsaparilla, however, ingestion of large dosages may cause gastrointestinal irritation. Sarsaparilla is becoming more widely available in health food stores, as well as tablets, capsules, and tincture products. Most of the Sarsaparilla root used commercially today comes from Mexico and Latin America as well as China. When I was small, there was a famous drink which we can purchased cheap in my hometown in Valenzuela . Its name is Sarsi and it was always advertised as a Sarsaparilla drink. Sarsi was manufactured by Cosmos Bottling Company in Valenzuela,Metro Manila (previoulsy known as Valenzuela, Bulacan) where these Sarsaparilla/Sarsi drink were manufactured and bottled. Sarsi is a sarsaparilla-based soft drink sold in Australia, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries

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