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Sassafras albidum - Sassafras Tree | by Layla Dishman
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Sassafras albidum - Sassafras Tree

Sassafras trees are native to Eastern North American. It is in the Laurel family and all parts are aromatic. The leaves were once crushed and rubbed on the skin as a mosquito repellent, the roots were made into a tea used to flavor Rootbeer. The root tea was consumed as a general health tonic and may have antiseptic qualities. It was also used to ward off various evils and nasty spirits. And if you ask the right person you will find that some still use the roots in mopwater and general cleaning washes just for this reason.

Since the 1970's, commercial use of Sassafras as a flavoring agent and medicine has been banned due to it's cancer causing and liver-damaging oil, Safrole, which is also a simple, organic compound of Brown Camphor oil.

Also, Safrole is used in the manufacture of illegal MDMA.

Today most Sassafras products contain a non-safrole oil.



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Taken on June 21, 2009