Sassafras Benefits, What is Sassafras

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Sassafras is a small tree, Sassafras albidum, belonging to the laurel family native to eastern North America.

Sassafras grows in woodlands in rich sandy well-drained soil from Maine to Florida, reaching a height of about 75 ft (25 m). The tree has also been imported to Europe, probably by the Spaniards who discovered it in Florida.

All parts of the sassafras tree are aromatic with a pleasant odor and a slightly sweet but astringent taste. The root and root bark were formerly used medicinally. The root is thick and woody. When alive, it is whitish but rapidly turns cinnamon-brown on exposure to air. Other names for sassafras are ague tree, cinnamon wood, sax-ifrax, saxafrax, and saloop. There are other plants that have the word sassafras in their name that are completely unrelated to Sassafras albidum. These include black sassafras (Oliveri cortex); swamp sassafras (Magnolia glau-ca); Australian sassafras (Antherosperma moschatum); sassafras goesianum (Massoja aromatica,); and California sassafras (Umbellularia californicd).

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