sassafras

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sas·sa·fras

(sas'ă-fras),
The dried bark of the root of Sassafras albidum (family Lauraceae), a tree of the eastern U.S.; a flavoring agent, diuretic, and diaphoretic; sassafras oil, a volatile oil obtained by distillation from the bark of S. albidum and S. variifolium, is used as a carminative, topical antiseptic, pediculicide, and flavoring agent.

sassafras

Herbal medicine
A deciduous tree, the bark of which is antiseptic, diaphoretic and diuretic. It was regarded by Native Americans as a blood purifier; in herbal medicine, it was used topically for syphilis, abscesses, acne, poison ivy and poison oak, and internally for colic and rheumatic complaints.

Toxicity
Carcinogenic and hepatotoxic in rats due to safrole; it is listed by the FDA as “unsafe”. Sassafras oil and raw bark should not be used internally.