Sarsaparilla Root c/s
Botanical Name - Hemidesmus indicus
Other Names - False Sarsaparilla, Nannari, Anantmula, Beer Root, Sarivadvaya
Origin - India
Flavor Profile - Has a velvety, vanilla-like flavor. Pair with warm spices in tea blends.
Culinary Usages - Prepare as tea by decocting the dried root. May also be tinctured.
Aromatic Usages - Add to potpourri and resin incense blends.
Indian Sarsaparilla is a South Asian species of shrub that grows throughout most of India.
This member of the dogbane family is widely used in Ayurveda, where it is designated one of the Rasayana plants because it contains antioxidants. The root is typically prepared as an infusion or decoction to make teas and syrups.
Indian sarsaparilla root is obtained from a twining shrub that grows in South Asia. As the name implies, the herb shares similar aromatic and flavor profiles with Smilax species of sarsaparilla, which most people identify with as the flavoring ingredient in root beer. Because they are sometimes used interchangeably, Indian sarsaparilla is also called false sarsaparilla.
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In India, where the herb is known as Nannari, Indian sarsaparilla root is made into a syrup and used to make a popular beverage called Nannari sarbath and Nannari sherbert, both of which are commonly sold by street vendors.