July 26, 2016

Sassafras

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How does Sassafras work?

There isn't enough information available to know how sassafras works.

Are there safety concerns?

Sassafras seems safe in foods and beverages if it is "safrole-free."

However, it is UNSAFE for use as a medicine. Don't take it by mouth or put it on your skin. The safrole in sassafras root bark and oil can cause cancer and liver damage. Consuming just 5 mL of sassafras oil can kill an adult. Even "safrole-free" sassafras used in medicinal amounts has been linked with tumors.

Sassafras can cause sweating and hot flashes. High amounts can cause vomiting, high blood pressure, hallucinations, and more severe side effects. It can cause skin rashes when used on the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

It is UNSAFE for anyone to use sassafras in medicinal amounts, but some people have extra reasons not to use it:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don't use sassafras if you are pregnant. There is evidence that sassafras oil might cause a miscarriage.

Children: Sassafras is UNSAFE for children. A few drops of sassafras oil may be deadly.

Surgery: In medicinal amounts, sassafras can slow down the central nervous system. This means it can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. When combined with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery, it might slow down the central nervous system too much. Stop using sassafras at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Urinary tract conditions: Sassafras might make these conditions worse.


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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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