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The entire plant is edible. The root and leaves make an excellent medicinal tea. Roots and young shoots used historically as food source. Anti inflammatory and blood-cleansing, used for quick relief to skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, itchiness, gout, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis and stomach aches. It even helps with impotence and virility issues because of it’s testosterone-like effect on the body. Has progesterone-type effect on women to help with menopause, menstrual problems, PMS and depression. Anti-inflammatory, estrogenic, cholesterol-lowering, anti-stress. Used for asthma, pulmonary issues, rheumatism, stomach aches, cough, cystitis. This is one of the three ingredients in the original root beer recipesarsaparilla, sassafras and birch. May cause stomach upset and temporary kidney problems. Do not take if on medication.