Sarsaparilla vs Root Beer – History, differences, health benefits

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Sarsaparilla vs Root Beer - History, differences, health benefits


Sarsaparilla, or zarzaparilla, is a soft drink, originally produced from the Smilax ornata plant. However, at present, it is flavored with birch and sassafras oils and does not commonly contain the Smilax ornata root.

Benefits of health

This plant is native to Jamaica, South America, the Caribbean, Honduras, Mexico and the West Indies. It has a tuberous shape and has no particular flavor or smell. In addition, it rises well and can reach more than 50 meters long.

This root has been used for millennia by the indigenous peoples of South and Central America for rheumatism, cancer prevention, colds, cough, sexual impotence, growth of tumors, skin diseases and as a tonic general for fatigue.

In the sixteenth century, the herb was brought to Europe by the Spanish soldiers who returned as a cure for syphilis. In addition, it was one of the most popular natural remedies of G. Baldwin & Co (one of the leading herbalists in London), where they used to serve it frothy and strong, which is completely different from sweet (usually with artificial sweeteners) carbonated drink. from today.

There are also some restrictions, especially for pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as for patients with kidney disorders, men with prostate disorders and patients with sensitive stomachs.

What gives this root its powerful healing abilities?

Scientists have identified a variety of active chemical properties within this plant, such as antioxidants, along with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer compounds. These include:


They are one of the largest nutrient families known to researchers and include more than 6,000 family members. Flavonoids are actually pigmentation chemicals that give plants their stem, leaf, root and flower root color.

Like other plant compounds, they have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, in addition to stimulating the immune system. In addition, they protect the cells of the human body from the damage of free radicals, which are derived from normal metabolic processes in the body, cigarette smoke and other environmental pollutants.

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In addition, research shows that flavonoids inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and have a negative correlation with the incidence of coronary heart disease.

Plant sterols

Discovered for the first time in 1950, plant sterols are similar in structure to cholesterol and have unique health benefits, particularly by lowering LDL cholesterol. This effect is important since there is strong evidence of a correlation between high levels of total cholesterol and LDL and the risk of stroke and heart attack.

According to research conducted by Professor Patrick Bouic, plant sterols are also effective in modulating cortisol and regulating interleukin-6, all effective methods to relieve arthritis pain.


They are a diverse group of glycosidic compounds and are found in the plant kingdom. Saponins are characterized by structures that contain steroidal aglycones or a triterpene and one or more sugar chains.

Saponins have qualities or characteristics similar to soap and produce foam when combined with water. One of the most important benefits of saponins is that they can reduce LDL and total cholesterol.

In addition, recent research concluded that saponins have anti-mutagenic and anti-tumor properties and can markedly reduce the risk of human cancer by preventing cancer cells from dividing.

Finally, according to a 2010 study published in "ACS Chemical Biology," the consumption of foods containing saponins can improve immune function and fight fungal infections.

Sioux City

Sioux City is the best known and consumed sarsaparilla. drink in the United States. It is produced and marketed by White Rock Beverages.

Nutrition profile: serving size: 12 fl oz; total fat 0g; calories 170; sugars 42g; sodium 45 mg; total carbohydrates 42g; 0g protein

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Ingredients: pure cane sugar, purified carbonated water, citric acid, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors and sodium benzoate (to preserve the flavor).

Root beer

Is a sweet refreshment traditionally produced using the sassafras (botanical name – Sassafras albidum) or Smilax ornata as the main flavors. In addition, this drink has the taste of burdock, anise, dandelion, cinnamon, juniper, ginger, wintergreen and vanilla.

However, the contemporary root beer is completely different, since the original spices and herbs have been replaced by artificial flavors.

A & W Root Beer is the main brand of this type of drinks in Canada and the United States. This company was started in 1919 by Roy W. Allen, and at its peak in the 70s, they had more stores than McDoMcDonald.

It is part of The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, a company that has 6 of the top 10 products without glue. drinks without alcohol. It is a fast growing company. For example, from 2008 to today, it has increased its profits at a compound annual rate of 6 percent per year.

Ingredients – high fructose corn syrup, quillaia extract, Carbonated water, sodium benzoate (to preserve flavor), caramel color and natural and artificial flavors.

Verdict – Sarsaparilla vs Root Beer

In the past, these two drinks They were quite healthy and nutritious with many benefits for human health. However, at present, they are full of food additives (such as corn syrup with high fructose content or sodium benzoate) with a variety of side effects.


Sarsaparilla vs Root Beer – History, differences, health benefits, Source:

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