Why is sassafras root illegal?

Why is sassafras root illegal?

The roots and barks of the sassafras tree contain a high concentration of the chemical named safrole. Safrole was listed as a carcinogen in rats by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is hence banned at present. The safrole in sassafras root and bark can cause cancer and liver damage.

Can you buy sassafras bark?

Sassafras is a tree that’s native to certain parts of North America and Eastern Asia. Manufacturers have started removing safrole during processing, and you can now purchase sassafras root bark without safrole at many health stores and herb suppliers in dry or powder form.

Can you buy sassafras root?

You can still purchase sassafras root bark (minus the safrole) in dry or powder form at many health food stores, and it’s a popular thickening agent in gumbos, an earthy additive to tea and an occasional flavor enhancer for stews and sauces.

How much does sassafras cost?

Sassafras Oil is primarily used for aromatherapy and occasionally as a topical medication for insect bites or other skin conditions. Sassafras Oil costs around $19.44, but a SingleCare Sassafras Oil coupon brings this cost down to $15.17.

How much does sassafras root cost?

You can buy 1 pound of sassafras root on Mountain Rose herbs website for $19. Seems like $13 for 1 ounce is a bit steep.

Does Walmart sell sassafras?

Sassafras (Sassafras Albidum) Tincture, Dried Root Bark Liquid Extract, Ague Tree, Herbal Supplement 15×4 oz – Walmart.com.

What can I substitute for sassafras?

When and how to substitute: Use arrowroot powder when you need a lot of thickening but do not want the heavy sassafras flavor of filé powder. An advantage to a neutral-flavored thickener like arrowroot powder is that it highlights the other flavors in your gumbo.

Is sassafras illegal?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently prohibits sassafras bark, oil, and safrole as flavorings or food additives. Among one of the biggest potential pitfalls of sassafras is its reported link with cancer. The FDA banned sassafras use in 1979 following research that showed it caused cancer in rats.

Can you buy sassafras tea?

It is prepared as many traditional herbal teas are prepared, pouring hot water over the leaves and allowing them to steep. You can also buy commercially-prepared sassafras tea bags or concentrate.

Is licorice root the same as sassafras?

Sassafras (a tree) and sarsaparilla (a vine) were traditionally used–along with other substances like licorice root, mint, nutmeg, and more–to flavour root beer. …

What is in filet powder?

Filé powder, also known as gumbo filé, is an herbal powder made from the dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum), native to eastern North America. The roots and bark of this same plant were the original base for root beer.

Is Root Beer illegal?

Safrole, the aromatic oil found in sassafras roots and bark that gave traditional root beer its distinctive flavor, was banned for commercially mass-produced foods and drugs by the FDA in 1960.

Can you still buy sassafras root bark?

Safrole-containing sassafras root bark is still available, but for legal purposes, it can only be sold as a topical skin wash or potpourri. Summary Sassafras tea is a beverage that’s made by boiling the root bark of the sassafras tree. It can be combined with other herbs like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, or aniseed.

Are sassafras trees dangerous?

Today, sassafras trees grow freely and are still used in many homes to make sassafras tea or homemade sassafras root beer. More concerning is the practice many now have of creating essential oil from the bark of this tree for the purposes of creating dangerous sassafras drugs, MDA (street name “sassafras”) and MDMA (commonly known as “ecstasy”).

Is sassafras oil illegal in the US?

As a pure chemical it is a schedule I controlled substance and, obviously, is illegal to own or buy without a permit. But, safrole is the major component of the essential oil of sassafras which is still quite legal to obtain. Sassafras oil has a strong licorice smell which is imparted to it from the safrole molecule.

Where does Sassafras grow naturally?

The sassafras tree itself grows like a weed in the wilds and along disturbed fence lines throughout the south, southeast, eastern seaboard, and Appalachian mountain regions of the United States. The trunk and root bark of older, mature sassafras trees can be steam distilled to afford the safrole-containing oil.