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.
A true Native is the Sassafras
The early leaves can be crushed to create a very citrus-like fragrance. Once used as an ingredient in rootbeer, this tree is now used to create insecticides. The leaves are also turned into a tea. Egg shaped fruit hangs from the limbs and appears dark blue or black. This fruit is not edible.The Sasafrass Tree has green leaves on it. It has a lovely smell to it. Flowers grow on it. The flowers are a greenish yellow color. These flowers grow in clusters. It has dark blue fruit called drupes. It has brownish gray bark. It also has green twigs, as well. The bark has furrows in it. It is best spaces out from other plants, and trees. It is a nice tree to have. It is a good tree to have in your lawn, or field. It makes good landscaping by itself of with other tree of the same kind as itself.
The Sassafrass Tree is from the Lauraceae family
The scientific name is Sassafras albidum. They may grow anywhere from 30-60 feet in height. The trunk of the tree may grow to as much as 59 inches in diameter and the upper part of the tree may spread nearly 40 feet. Thriving in planting zone 5-9, this tree can often live up to 1,000 years old. This tree can be seen growing underneath taller trees, as they thrive under the broad canopy of those towering above them. The largest Sassafrass Tree is located in Owensboro, KY and is 100 feet tall with a circumference of 21 feet.
Sassafrass Tree has tiny yellow flowers which bloom in spring
Small, but bright yellow blooms adorn the branches in Spring. The vibrant little flowers appear in clusters. In the Autumn, the leaves turn to various shades of orange. Cheereful blooms, colorful "fruit," and bright Atumn foliage make this tree an excellent choice for natural or garden areas.