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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.


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.

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.

sassafras (saˑ·s·fras),

n Latin name:
Sassafras albidum; parts used: root, stem; uses: pain reliever, flatulence, induction of perspiration, diuretic, vasodilator, gastrointestinal disorders, colds, kidney disorders, liver disorders, rheumatism, skin inflammations, blood purification, eye disorders, lice, insect bites; precautions: may cause carcinogenic activity, dilated pupils, vomiting, stupor, kidney damage, and liver damage. Also called


an extract from the roots of Sassafras albidum or certain species of Ocotea. the oil is used topically as a rubifacient and may be toxic if ingested.