Species Detail

Sassafras albidum Nees.
Sassafras; Ague tree

Scientific Name:  
Sassafras albidum Nees.
Common Name:  
Sassafras; Ague tree
Myaamia Name:  
Harvest Seasons:  
Growth Forms:  

Myaamia Archival Sources  
Sassafras albidum Nees.
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
Small, J.K. 1903 Description  Also known as
Dunn, J.P. Circa 1900 Use - Medicinal  root used for drink/tea.
Carlson. K 1996, June 15 Use - Medicinal  leaves made into tea for a spring tonic. Barbara Mullins grandparents; both sets; including Ethel Goodbo Gamble; believed in the health-inducing properties of sassafras tea; drunken as a spring tonic. Barbara said;
Rafert, S. 1989, August 24-25 Use - Medicinal  sassafras tea was considered a tonic.
Rafert, S. 1992 Use - Medicinal  sassafras tea made from root and used as a blood thinner/conditioner
Olds, Julie, Olds, Dustin and Dani Tippman 1999 Use - Medicinal  tea made
Tippman, D. 1999, November 11 Use - Medicinal  used roots to make tea
Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Use - Medicinal  root used to prevent bleeding; the pith used in treating sore eyes; and tea used in spring.
Strack, M. 2004, February 27 Use - Medicinal  roots harvested for making tea.
Dorin, G, Sr. 2004, August 10 Use - Medicinal  roots dug up; sliced; boiled and steeped in water to make tea. Honey added for taste. Used in the longhouse during a sweat
Pinet, P.F. 1696-circa 1700 Use - Unknown 
Carlson. K 1996, June 15 Horticultural Info  Collect roots in January.
Tippman, D. 2004, August 10-11 Horticultural Info  Collect roots in early spring. Tie a ribbon to stems in the fall to remember which stems to dig up. The cut roots resprout usually
Dorin, G, Sr. 2004, August 10 Horticultural Info  Smaller roots 1/2 to 2 inches diameter harvested in fall; around the end of October; when the sap is down; always offering tobacco as he harvests. Once he harvested a 3-4
Botanical Sources  
Sassafras albidum Nees.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
Gleason, H.A. & Cronquist, A. 1991   Occurs in disturbed woods; thickets; roadsides and oldfields
Tippman, D. 1999, November 11   Occurred in many places; especially along railroad tracks
Related Sources  
Sassafras albidum Nees.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
N/A 1998-2006   Barbara Mullins recipe for sassafras tea: boil a few pieces of sassafras roots. Simmer for about 20 minutes until tea is clear and very bright pink/red. Add sugar or honey if desired. Serve hot
N/A 1998-2006   The Miami word mankii?aahkwaapowi means sassafras tea; and incorporates the Miami words for medicine; bush and drink
N/A 1998-2006   Sassafras jelly recipe from Barbara Mulllin; from a Choctaw; includes sassafras tea; honey; and sassafras root bark
Coulter, S 1932   Oil from roots are aromatics; stimulants; diaphoretic; diuretic; aseptic and astringent. This oil is used mostly as a flavor. Large doses causes circulatory depression and respiratory paralysis. Oil is reported to cause contraction of the uterus and abortion
No Reference Specified   Due to lead; cadmium and zinc contamination in the Tar Creek Superfund Sites watershed; around Miami; Oklahoma and the Miami Tribe of Oklahomas headquarters; Miami and other local tribal members worry that traditional gathering of food; medicine and customs items may be contaminated. Fish; wild blackberries; sassafras; pokeweed; basket-making supplies and wild onions could have high concentrations of lead; as do the waters of nearby lakes; and it is not always successful keeping tribal members out of these areas. The Seneca-Cayugas berry dance could not be held; if all the wild blackberries and strawberries in the area are found to be contaminated
Kellogg, L.P. 1923   Charlevoix describes use of tree sap and sassafras against palsy; dropsy and venereal diseases; by the general Great Lakes region tribes
No Reference Specified