Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Sassafras Roots

  1. #1

    Default Sassafras Roots

    So, today I went foraging for sassafras roots. I found a lot of them, so I took home some of the big roots. So, my question is, what can I do to store the roots and root bark to use over time? Do I simply let them dry out in my house or use a low temperature in the oven to dry them out and store in a jar?


  2. #2

    Default

    Just let them dry out naturally dont put in oven or jar for best hang them upside down once they dry out you can grind them into powder and put them in a jar

  3. #3
    Senior Member WolfVanZandt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    1,064

    Default

    By the way, I have a pencil sharpener in my kitchen just for sassafras roots. That's flat out tough wood and I got tired of shaving it with a knife.
    True enough, my final home is still out there, but this is most certainly my home range and I love it. I love every rock I fall off and tree I trip over. Even when I am close to dying from exhaustion, a beautiful sunset doesn't lose it's power to refresh and inspire me and that, in itself, is enough to save me sometimes.

  4. #4
    Super Moderater RangerXanatos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northeast, Georgia
    Posts
    1,898

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WolfVanZandt View Post
    By the way, I have a pencil sharpener in my kitchen just for sassafras roots. That's flat out tough wood and I got tired of shaving it with a knife.
    Why shave them? Only so much of the good stuff in the root will leach out into the water until equilibrium sets. Just like adding too much sugar to sweeten a drink will leave an undissolved layer on the bottom of the glass.
    What's so crazy about standing toe-to-toe saying I am?
    ~Rocky Balboa

  5. #5
    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bay Area/Sacramento Delta CA
    Posts
    1,155

    Default

    You're talking about the precursor to MDMA....?

  6. #6
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    SE/SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    26,298

    Default

    Having spent some time hunting in south central Missouri , with a local resident, I was treated to sassafras tea......It was good.
    So dug up a bunch of roots ad just hung them to dry.

    Even dug up some tree shoots and tried transplanting them in a similar terrain in Wisconsin.....didn't make it.

    It does have known carcinogenic properties or so says the FDA, so was banned for commercial sales.

    I still used the roots till they were gone, so I'm sure they aren't really harmful unless you really over indulge.
    Took a couple of roots kind and kinda mashed them up, put in a pot an boiled them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sassafras
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
    Evoking the 50 year old rule...
    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

  7. #7
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    56,027

    Default

    Sassafras contains safrole which has been linked to liver damage and cancer.

  8. #8
    Super Moderater RangerXanatos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northeast, Georgia
    Posts
    1,898

    Default

    Here is a video I took of Mark Warren talking about Sassafras. Feel free to jump to 2:20 where he talked about the carcinogen safrole in the roots. I don't know where he got the source from, but I could see the researchers doing this.

    What's so crazy about standing toe-to-toe saying I am?
    ~Rocky Balboa

  9. #9
    Super Moderater RangerXanatos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northeast, Georgia
    Posts
    1,898

    Default

    I found this post by rritterson elsewhere about beer brewing.

    Safrole is not nearly as dangerous as you would think


    First, let me state that I believe i am qualified to offer an opinion because I am a practicing biochemist and can more easily find and perhaps understand the data out there. However, I am not an expert on safrole or safrole metabolism, so do not take my word as gospel. I encourage you to look at the data and decide for yourself.

    I think the safrole health hazards have been significantly overblown. Take a look at these two sources (one a secondary source, the other primary):

    http://potency.berkeley.edu/chempages/SAFROLE.html

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...h&_sort=d&view =c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_use r id=10&md5=8ec1ea8630ab130def74241535d2fc11#sec2.1

    In the first page, the TD_50 dose of safrole, that is, the daily dose of safrole required to induce tumors in half of animals that would be otherwise healthy is 441mg/kg in rats and 51.3mg/kg in mice. The mg/kg unit means mg given to the animal per kg of it's own body weight. (e.g. 1mg/kg means a 1kg rat gets 1mg a day, a 2kg rat gets 2mg, etc) On the second link, liver damage is induced by daily dosing of safrole to rats, but it isn't statistically significant until 1000mg/kg doses are used.

    Note that the mice and rat toxicity levels are quite different. Since the studies haven't been done on humans, we can't know exactly what the toxicity levels in us are. I suspect they are somewhere in between, but to be cautious, I will assume things are as toxic in humans as mice.

    I am a person of average weight at just under 75kg. That means, to get a dose equal to that of mice I would have to consume 51.3mg * 75 = 3847.5mg a day (3.85g after rounding).

    Let's say that I drink 1 of my own rootbeers per day. In order to have a 50% chance of cancer, I'd have to have 3.85g of safrole per root beer. Since my batches are 5 gallons (~50 beers), that would mean I'd have to get 192.5g of safrole out of the sassafras I seep. I start with 16oz (1lb) of sassafras root. Well, 1lb is actually only 453g. 192.5g/453g is 42%.

    That means that my sassafras would have to be 42% safrole in order to even possibly extract that much

    I can absolutely say that is not the case. Wikipedia, citing the Merck chemical index, says sassafras is 'a few percent steam volatile oil, of which 75% is safrole'. A few percent (3%) * 75% = 2.25%. Let's be generous and assume that safrole is ~4% of the total weight of sassafras. That means that if I drink 1 root beer a day, I'd be 1/10th (4%/42% is ~1/10) of the TD_50 dose! (Alternatively, you could say I'd have to drink 10 root beers a day to get to TD_50). If safrole is as toxic in us as in rats, i'd be at nearly 1/100th the TD_50 dose. Now, granted, TD_50 means 50% chance of cancer. I don't want even a 5% chance of getting cancer. However, the probability of cancer falls quickly once you move away from the TD_50. The data I can find don't even look at the probabllity of lower doses of causing cancer, but if safrole behaves like other cancer causing compounds, 1/10th the TD_50 is likely to only cause cancer in fewer than 1% of us.

    And remember, I've already probably over estimated how much safrole is in sassafras and how toxic the safrole is to us. Wikipedia indicates that the cancer-causing byproducts found in mice and rat urine are not found in humans after consumption, raising questions about exactly how toxic it even is to us, if at all.

    Let's not go too far and say that safrole doesn't cause cancer. It does at the right dose But I think that dose is waaaay higher than you're likely to get. Pollution in the air, chemicals in your kitchen cleaning products, etc, will probably give you cancer first.

    So, I am not at all afraid to use raw sassafras in my root beers, and I don't think you should be either.

    What do I think the real reason for why the FDA was so quick to act against Safrole? It's one easy chemical reaction away from MDMA, the banned drug most of us know as ecstasy. By eliminating the food needs for sassafras, the industrial production sources all disappeared, making it very hard for an illegal drug house to get enough sassafras to make MDMA.

    I'm interested to hear other opinions out there, and especially interested in reading any other sources people can find.
    What's so crazy about standing toe-to-toe saying I am?
    ~Rocky Balboa

  10. #10

    Default

    I just use 'em fresh.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •