Last update Oct. 11, 2017

Smilax utilis

Likely Compatibility

Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.

The roots of this shrub are used.
It contains triterpene saponosides, essential oils, starch, choline, mineral salts (K), tannins and phytosterols.

Properties traditionally attributed to it without any clinical evidence: diuretic, depurative, sudorific, antirheumatic.
Commission E of the German Ministry of Health does not consider any of its indications to be proven and advises against its use (Blumenthal 1998 p.372).

Since the last update we have not found published data about its excretion in breast milk.

Although apparently lacking toxicity, there are very few publications on this plant and no proven health effects, making its consumption totally non-essential, especially during breastfeeding.

Precautions when taking plant preparations:
1. Ensure that they are from a reliable source: poisoning has occurred due to confusing one plant with another with toxic properties, as well as poisoning from heavy metals extracted from the ground and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi.
2. Do not take in large amounts; follow recommendations from professional experts in phytotherapy. "Natural" products are not always good in any quantity: plants contain active substances from which much of our traditional pharmacopoeia has been obtained and can result in poisoning or act as endocrine disruptors if taken in excessive amounts or time periods.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Smilax utilis is Sarsaparilla in Latin, botanical name.

Is written in other languages:

Smilax utilis is also known as


Smilax utilis belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Smilax utilis in its composition:


  1. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS, editors. The American Botanical Council. The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Integrative Medicine Com; Boston, MA, USA: 1998

Total visits


Help us improve this entry

How to cite this entry

Do you need more information or did not found what you were looking for?

   Write us at

e-lactancia is a resource recommended by El Parto Es Nuestro of Spain

Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM