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wdrs
April 28th, 2006, 02:57 PM
hi...Can someone explain harvesting and using sassafras roots...Is now an okay time for harvest in the MO Ozarks? Also, once harvested, they are washed...but do you peel them or prepare them in any way prior to boiling them? I appreciate any help...

dirtundernails
April 28th, 2006, 05:06 PM
Well, I think before the leaves sprout out is the best time, but I'm sure now is fine - if you hurry. Stands of sassafrass are connected by the roots, and you're not supposed to be able to kill them by removing some. Scrub, but peeling is optional. Some people use just the root bark. Then, just boil until the tea is red. Roots can then be put in the freezer and used again.
Be warned that it's banned on the market because it cleans you out inside, and apparently some people have had very bad reactions when all the sludge in the liver or kidney ( I forget which ) came out and caused sickness. This is my interpretation of what I found on the internet and in my books. We have tons of sassafrass and it smells so good. The "bad" oil is just in the root. So far, we have had tea from the leaves, which is good. I think I will get the nerve to use the root. Also, file gumbo is made from the leaves dried and finely ground, then sifted. There is mucilage in them that thickens food.

dun

uprooted_kentuckian
April 29th, 2006, 07:48 PM
I grew up on sassafras tea. We only used the "bark" from the roots. I personally love the stuff, but its too warm here for the trees, I think. We always harvested in the winter from what I remember, after the trees went dormant. I've never known anyone who got sick from sassafras tea. My 2c, for what little its worth.

Hee Haw
May 30th, 2006, 12:30 AM
We dug and made tea as well,growing up. Smells beter than it taste,but is good for a body cleanser if I remember right. Isnt there a red and a white?

justdoit
October 18th, 2006, 08:22 AM
Sassafrass is traditionally dug in February here in southern MO. Probably because the soil has frozen and thawed making it soft for digging... in many cases small plants were simply pulled out of fence rows. The roots were cleaned and cut into 2" - 3" pieces. We didn't bother with peeling off the bark. Bring to a boil and toss out the first batch which will be a bit bitter. After that the roots can be used until the flavor is too weak.

johno
October 18th, 2006, 08:13 PM
We generally only drink sassafrass tea once or twice a year because you can build up toxins from drinking it regularly. It has minerals which are supposed to be 'good for the blood.' We have always used whole roots cut into chunks. I forget if the local lore says Spring or Fall is the right time to harvest? My brother is in the woods alot more than I am and he keeps me stocked up.

werecat
October 18th, 2006, 08:28 PM
Well, I think before the leaves sprout out is the best time, but I'm sure now is fine - if you hurry. Stands of sassafrass are connected by the roots, and you're not supposed to be able to kill them by removing some. Scrub, but peeling is optional. Some people use just the root bark. Then, just boil until the tea is red. Roots can then be put in the freezer and used again.
Be warned that it's banned on the market because it cleans you out inside, and apparently some people have had very bad reactions when all the sludge in the liver or kidney ( I forget which ) came out and caused sickness. This is my interpretation of what I found on the internet and in my books. We have tons of sassafrass and it smells so good. The "bad" oil is just in the root. So far, we have had tea from the leaves, which is good. I think I will get the nerve to use the root. Also, file gumbo is made from the leaves dried and finely ground, then sifted. There is mucilage in them that thickens food.

dun

Dun? how do they reproduce? seeds or root cuttings. You just make tea from the dried leaves? if they produce via seeds, could / would you save me some please?

dirtundernails
October 19th, 2006, 08:42 PM
I'll see if i can still find fruits, Werecat.

werecat
October 19th, 2006, 09:47 PM
I'll see if i can still find fruits, Werecat.
Thanks DUN I really appreciate it. daddy grew up in the south and he says the sassafrass tea you get in concentrate in the bottles here just isn't the same.

dirtundernails
October 24th, 2006, 10:38 AM
The birds love them, Were. It'll have to be roots. You know it can be invasive, right?

werecat
October 24th, 2006, 08:17 PM
The birds love them, Were. It'll have to be roots. You know it can be invasive, right?
LOL Can it possibly be any worse than the bramble roses and the poison ivy?? LOL If it gets too bad, We will just share it out. There is plenty of space that is wooded on mum and daddy's property to plant it in. :)

Sandbar
October 24th, 2006, 08:42 PM
I thought you made the tea from the bark off of the trunk of the tree not the root. So, it has to come from "root bark"?

dirtundernails
October 30th, 2006, 07:16 PM
Yeah, Root Bark.
I got 4 little trees out while digging my sweet potatoes that I will send to you, Werecat.
I don't think it's worse than bramble roses, just grows in big thickets.

werecat
November 7th, 2006, 11:13 PM
Yeah, Root Bark.
I got 4 little trees out while digging my sweet potatoes that I will send to you, Werecat.
I don't think it's worse than bramble roses, just grows in big thickets.

Got your pm. Was going to reply, but your box was full. Thank you thank you thank you. I have another work party coming out on Sunday and we will get them in then. :)

Dug n Dirt
January 26th, 2007, 10:45 AM
This just reminded me.. it is sassafras root digging time here now !! Time to make a trip to the ex's house! We generally dig the roots in mid-Jan.. during what we call "the January thaw" this year has been so weird.. instead of getting a thaw we finally got our freeze for the year. But just the same, it is time to get the ex and head to the sassfras "patch".

I have heard sassafra tea is like a blood thinner so you don't want to drink it regular, but sure good for a treat now and then and makes the house smell good too.

TastyofHasty
April 18th, 2007, 10:39 PM
HOW do you get the ROOTS out of the ground? Just go for little sassafras trees you can pull up whole?

dirtundernails
April 18th, 2007, 10:48 PM
They are produced by rhizomes, so you can just follow a root along. There are usually plenty of little ones around the clump to remove. So, yes you can use little ones, but I have to dig. Can't just pull them out of the ground. If you can, then you're lucky.

TastyofHasty
April 18th, 2007, 10:54 PM
I just thought of another good reason to dig the roots in January ...

No ticks & chiggers then! :rolleyes: Not to mention, poison ivy is not so bad.

Thanks, DUN! Having made GINGER beer, now I'm thinking about ROOT beer. I wonder about that "blood thinner" and "dangerous" stuff, though.

dirtundernails
April 18th, 2007, 11:11 PM
I made a pitcher just the other day. Whole family drank it, and we're still here. I feel better, actually. If it was that bad, generations of people wouldn't have used it for a spring tonic. Those family trees would be stumps. IMHO, someone had toxic sludge in their liver that got flushed out and that's what poisoned them. Only takes one or two bad instances for media to get ahold of and blow out of proportion. Do you know what the chances are of getting in a car wreck every time you buckle up? About 115 people die every day in the US- that's one every 13 minutes. Yeah, and you still drive, right? I just googled it, and one death is reported of a small child who drank several drops of sassafras oil. In fact, all the reported problems were with the essential oil. http://www.drugdigest.org/DD/PrintablePages/herbMonograph/0,11475,552413,00.html We also use fresh leaves for tea, which are supposed to not have the safrole in them.

052039
April 18th, 2007, 11:37 PM
HI every spring mushroom season we dig sasafrass & clean roots- boil & drink and at 68 has not hurt me .....but i am purdy ornery....no joke sasafrass tea is good & good for you.....052039
BILL :D :) :eek:

LarryS
April 19th, 2007, 08:15 AM
HI every spring mushroom season we dig sasafrass & clean roots- boil & drink and at 68 has not hurt me .....but i am purdy ornery....no joke sasafrass tea is good & good for you.....052039
BILL :D :) :eek:

There is supposed to be a cancer causing agent (or agents) in sassafras,
but people drank the tea for years.

As I posted earlier, there are cancer causing agents in celery, but a lot of people still eat it.

Soultravler
April 19th, 2007, 09:42 PM
I bet tylenol is worse for the liver than sassafras! Or many other herbs that the govmint has decided is too dangerous for us simple folks.
I live in the woods and keep smelling sassafras in the summer, haven't noticed any trees yet (can't see the trees for that darn forest in the way ya know). I think I'll go out and actually LOOK for the trees this weekend and see if I can make some fresh tea too!!!
Angel

052039
April 19th, 2007, 09:52 PM
Also don't forget sasafrass leaves......pick-em.......dry em' real dry.....crush em' in a mortor & pestal.....voila.....file' for gumbo.....

052039 - BILL :D :D :) :eek:

TastyofHasty
April 20th, 2007, 01:01 AM
Does the sassafras LEAF tea taste like root beer?

dirtundernails
April 20th, 2007, 11:04 AM
Tasty, the leaf tea is very similar, but does have a hard to describe "green" flavor. They contain a good amount of mucilage, which is the desirable trait in file gumbo. you're supposed to put it on the already cooked food, as cooking it will produce a gummy dish. So use just boiled water, don't boil the tea. We like some twigs in there, as well.

I was doing some web research to find the other carcinogenic foods that are commonly on the menu, and nobody makes a stink about, like black pepper and peanut butter. Then I found that black pepper has safrole in it, and looked to see what else had safrole. Ginger, cinnamon, anise (including star), cumin, nutmeg, basil, rosemary, witch hazel ,dill, angelica, black tea (camellia sinensis), epazote, bay, and that was not a complete list. I also found that safrole is used in the manufacter of ecstasy, and anyone caught ordering safrole in large quantities is investigated by the government. One web page of a manufacturer suggested that one could purchase sassafras trees and produce your own safrole. I wonder if this is a possible reason for the ban of sassafras but not ginger? I didn't look at the amounts of oil in the different foods, but will guess that sassafras is higher than the others, and easily as well as economically obtained from the root. If you go looking for the info yourself, be prepared for naughty language in the drug manufacturers' websites.

I would personally vote for moderation, as you can overdose yourself on anything- even water! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication
Look at the notorious cases toward the bottom of the page for deaths by water consumption....:eek:

TastyofHasty
April 20th, 2007, 11:21 AM
We have file' from Louisiana to go on our gumbo. I personally have a hard time even tasting it! Other people can taste it, though!

I think I'll wait for the leaves to come out again and try those, rather than trying to dig roots in chigger-infested woodsy area! But must remember next January. Will go write it at the bottom of December on our calendar so as to mark it in for January next year. :)

And people who drink the root tea, thanks for the recommendations. That webpage you posted, DUN, had one error I caught, about file' being used in gumbos for THICKENING ... if it has one error, maybe others, too.

052039
April 20th, 2007, 09:53 PM
TASTY- leaves for fil'e - roots for tea. my wife & i went mushrooming this p.m. & i dug some roots & we had tea tonight mummmm good! no mushrooms but going to the woods we passed a house selling farm fresh brown eggs..well my wife had me stop on the way back...they were $2.00 a tray- [30 eggs] i told the man 2 trays & he gave me a case of eggs for $12.00.
that is 8 trays x 30 = 240 eggs! they were double yolks. what a bargain:eek: we gave 2 trays each to our son & daughter & still have 4 left. guess i will be making egg noodles & freezing them since you can't freeze eggs.
052039 - BILL :D :D :)

TastyofHasty
April 21st, 2007, 01:25 AM
052039, do you have chiggers in "beautiful southern Indiana"? Sure would like to find a "chigger map" online somewhere! To try and figure out where the "chigger line" is! Right about now, I avoid going into the woods absolutely, 'cause of them.

Congratulations on the eggs. I wonder how many eggs that guy who sold 'em to you HAD!??

Egg recipes ... deviled eggs! omelets, quiche! custard ... lemon meringue pie ...

winter_unfazed
April 21st, 2007, 11:49 AM
Our sassafras trees got their leaves killed by the freeze.

052039
April 21st, 2007, 05:21 PM
TASTY - WE REALLY ONLY GET CHIGGERS WHEN WE PICK WILD BLACKBERRIES & NOW I HAVE TAME THORNLESS ONES & DON'T PICK WILD ONE'S ANYMORE. HE HAD 2 MORE CASES LEFT. I THOUGHT ABOUT WORKING A DEAL W/HIM & BRINGING BACK TO TOWN & SELLING THEM A TRAY AT A TIME BUT......YOU KNOW HOW IT IS WHEN YOU ARE RETIRED [YOU AVOID WORK AT ALL COST]. LOL
052039 - BILL :D :D :D