A Brief History of Sassafras

Sassafras leaf variants

Winauk in the algonquian language, and Pavame in timicuan were names used by native americans for sassafras

I was sitting in the garden with my grandmother the other day telling her about a friend of mine experiencing kidney issues. she told a story of when she was a young girl, her mother would find young sassafras trees, pull them up at the root, and boil them into a tea as a natural diuretic. this peaked my interest in the plant and its uses in modern and ancient medicine. what i found was that sassafras has been used for hundreds of years by the Native American population for many ailments. Culturally sassafras would be used as canoes, the bark that was carved from the tree as well as the leaves were used as both food and medicines to treat worms, open sores, and diffused in water to flush eyes by the Cherokee peoples

The Ojibwa and Chippewa indians would use the root bark as a blood thinner, and Seminole tribes used sassafras as a mouthwash.

other tribes believed that virility could be increased by ingesting sassafras.


in the wild sassafras will grow to around twenty feet in height, and its bark will give off a sweet aroma. the leaves come in three different variants; single lobed, double lobed and resembling a mitten, and triple lobed. in a mature and blooming sassafras apetalous flowers will be produced. the sassafras tree is found throughout the northern and eastern parts of North America as well as in some of the southern regions.

male gendered flowers of the sassafras

Published by Trey Morgan

A young enthusiast of all things scientific, as well as historical and alternative health and wellness.

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