Sassafras
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Sassafras

Sassafras albidum

Found: in poor soil conditions from southern Maine to Florida

Height: the tree can range anywhere from 3 to 30 meters (10-100 feet) tall

Leaves: appear in 3 varieties: oval, double lobed, or triple lobed (the double lobed leaves resemble mittens). A single tree can have one type of leaf exclusively or any mix of the three varieties.

Flowers: appear in yellow clusters before the leaves. The fruit is a blue-black color and have one seed.

Uses: this plant was a major export of early European settlements. A tea made from the root bark was used as a spring blood tonic and as a ‘blood purifier.’ The twig pith can be made into a wash or poultice to treat eye ailments or can be taken internally in the form of a tea to treat chest, bowel, kidney, and liver disorders. The leaves can be used to create a stock for soup as well.

Warning: Sassafras contains an oil called Safrole which is a suspect carcinogen and banned by the FDA.

3 lobed sassafras leaf
Another sassafras leaf