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Sassafras

Sassafras is a tree (Sassafras officinale) of the Lauraceae family. It was probably introduced to Europe from Florida.

A toxic oil, safrol, distilled from the root-bark or the fruit is used as a fragrance in perfumes and soaps. The root bark is also used to make tea. A yellow dye is obtained from the wood. The shoots are used to make root beer (formerly alcoholic, but now a soft drink). The leaves are used for thickening sauces and soups, and when dried and ground are known as filè powder, a spice used in the Cajun dish filè gumbo[?]. The pith is used in the US to soothe eye inflammation and ease catarrh.



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