erthnsky at bellsouth.net
Tue Dec 25 12:10:58 EST 2007
Sassafras is also called the Ague Tree.
Native Americans collected sassafras leaves and dried them. Crumbled,
they are used to thicken stews and soups.
Four different leaf shapes can be found on one sassafras tree: three
lobed, elliptical, two lobed/right side, and two lobed/left side
(upper photo). The deciduous leaves can grow up to six inches by four
inches, and the tree itself may grow up to about 60 feet. In the
spring, small yellowish green flowers develop with the leaves; oval-
shaped, blue fruits of less than half an inch follow.
Hummingbirds and bees love their flowers, and all birds enjoy the
berries. Sassafras is common throughout the eastern U.S.
Prepare your rooting box as for most anything else. Collect a medium
sized green sassafras leaf and cut it into 3 pieces. Insert each
piece, cut side in your rotting mixture, water with willow water, and
cover with a glass/plastic lid. In a few weeks you'll see a small
bud forming right at soil level.
Allow it to continue to grow until each bud forms 3 sets of tiny
leaves, then lift each rooting, and put into a larger container by
itself, and allow to grow all summer in your container. Bring the
potted plant inside to a west window, or into your greenhouse, and
keep it watered and fed with manure/compost tea periodically.
Come spring, you can plant it outside where you want it to grow. Just
be sure to put a cuff around it to protect your new sassafras
seedling from mowers and weed-eaters. I use the empty tins from
Medicinally: sassafras for pleurisy, and Ague.
Sassafras Tree (Sassafras albidum)
The roots, bark, and leaves of the sassafras have a spicy scent and
the oils extracted from them have been used in soapmaking, candle-
making, potpourris, dream pillows, and in flavoring drinks such as
Gather sassafras roots by digging around a sassafras bush with a hoe
or shovel. Chop four carrot-sized roots from the plant and wash in
cold tap water. Scrape the outer layer of bark and set it aside (The
bark may be used if desired). Boil the spring water in a saucepan.
Place the four carrot-sized roots in the water. (The roots may be
used in the tea dried or fresh.) Boil for 15 to 20 minutes (longer,
if stronger tea is desired). When tea is finished boiling, strain.
The tea may be served either hot or cold. Sweeten with either honey
or sugar. You can use the same roots 2-4 times but each time you do
use less water or expect a weaker tea.
Properties: Sassafras was used extensively for food and medicine by
Native Americans long before European settlers arrived.
The young leaves can be added to salads and have a mild aromatic
flavor. The root bark and root pith are used in alternative medicine
as an alterative, anodyne, antiseptic, aromatic, carminative,
diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant and vasodilator. An Infusion is used
to treat gastrointestinal complaints, colds, liver and kidney
ailments, rheumatism skin eruptions and as a blood purifier. The
essential oil (Safrole) from the root bark is used as an antiseptic
and anodyne in dentistry. The production of sassafras oil by
distillation of the root and root bark is a small industry in the
southeastern section of the country. Now prohibited for use as a
flavoring or food additive because it is said to have carcinogenic
properties, though it is less likely to cause cancer than alcohol. A
sassafras tree repels mosquitoes and other insects. All parts of the
tree contain essential oils and give off a pleasant spicy aroma when
crushed, and can be used for either food or medicine.
Applied externally, it contains antiseptic properties making it
useful in the treatment of skin wounds, sores and rashes.
Bevanron of EarthNSky Farm Sleep well tonight, for somewhere in the
ocean's depths, MY son is protecting YOUR freedom.
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