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Sassafrass Tree - Sassafras Albidum
Sassafras Trees- A Hardy Native Tree
Sassafras, a native of North America and Eastern Asia, has been a treasure tree to several generations before ours. The American variety is also known as ‘laurel of the Iroquois,’ in honor of the Indians who revered the Sassafras tree for its therapeutic prowess. The plant is characterized by fragrant bluish leaves that for shed seasonally.
This tree carries a host of benefits, both nutrition wise and medicinally, and is still, albeit from a more commercialized angle. The Native Americans used this plant as medicine to treat conditions such as fever, blood purification, to treat feverish postnatal women, to sooth burns and bee stings, and to eliminate tapeworms. They even used them to spice their food.
Uses of Sassafras Trees
Extracts from the plant are still utilized in the production of commercial items, albeit in reduced quantities. The US banned the use of extracts from the tree following a decision that there is too much wastage of the raw material. The essential oil was used to flavor root beer while the leaves and barks were used to make medicinal teas. The leaves were added as an ingredient for soap too.
Sassafras was used in the early days to flavor chewing gum. Young leaves from the plant were also used to as an additive in such baked goodies as biscuits. In 1958, the government banned the use of Sassafras products in food for the belief that the oil contained carcinogens. The leaves are still used in soaps and perfumes.
Sassafras Essential Oil
The roots of the Sassafras tree are aromatic, which makes them ideal for the production of essential oil. The leaves and flowers are added to make this subtle reddish-yellow oil.
Sassafras essential oil is an excellent product, but one that elicits mixed reactions. For the environment-conscious, it is not worth to fell a whole tree, just to produce a few bottles of essential oil. The damage done to the environment is not worth the cosmetic benefit. Besides, keeping in mind that the other two varieties of the tree are extinct, it would be a wise thought to preserve this wonder tree for future generations.
Sassafras Tree is a great tree to add that unique curb appeal to your home. It will give you amazing colors of red, yellow and orange during the fall months of the year. It will also give you beautiful bright green leaves during the spring and summer to enjoy. It can also be used as a family shade tree for everyone to gather under on those hot summer evenings.