The Smilax genera is classified within the Liliaceae family and contains over three hundred species. Most are thorny, climbing vines with reddish berries, found growing in tropical climates of the world including South America, Asia, and the Caribbean. Decoctions made from the fibrous tubers and rhizomes of Smilax glabra have been used for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine for a variety of purposes that include hormone, immune system and liver support, and as a general health tonic.*
Scientific research has identified numerous potentially beneficial bioactive substances in the rhizomes of Smilax glabra. Astilbin and Smilaxin are among the most well-known. Astilbin, a flavonoid compound, demonstrated potent antioxidant activity and exerted a protective effect on the kidneys.* The protein Smilaxin exhibited immunostimulatory and antiproliferative abilities.* Several other proteins isolated from S. glabra rhizomes show support of immune system capabilities.* For instance, SGRP1, identified in 2017, activated macrophages and promoted phagocytosis.*
Due to the wide distribution and many species of Smilax, the plant may be referred to by many names including zarzaparilla, Smilacis glabrae, Tu Fu Ling, Chinaroot, and sarsaparilla. It is also sometimes confused with sassafras, which comes from the volatile oils of the bark of a tree in the Laurel family, that was used to flavor Root Beer. BioPure uses only the extract of pure Smilax glabra, the species of herb used historically in traditional Chinese medicine.
BioPure’s Smilax glabra extract is available individually as a 2 fluid ounce liquid tincture in a 55% organic corn alcohol solution. It is also available as one of five herbal extracts combined in our Quintessence formula.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Chu KT and Ng TB. Smilaxin, a novel protein with immunostimulatory, antiproliferative, and HIV-1-reverse transcriptase inhibitory activities from fresh Smilax glabra rhizomes. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 340: 118-24.
Di TT, Ruan ZT, Zhao JX, Wang Y, Liu X, Wang Y, Lic P. Astilbin inhibits Th17 cell differentiation and ameliorates imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like skin lesions in BALB/c mice via Jak3/Stat3 signaling pathway. International Immunopharmacology. Volume 32, March 2016, Pages 32–38.
Gao Y, Su Y, Qu L, Xu S, Meng L, Cai SQ, Shou C. Mitochondrial apoptosis contributes to the anti-cancer effect of Smilax glabra Roxb. Toxicology Letters. Vol 207, Issue 2, 30 November 2011, Pages 112–120.
Jiang J, Xu Q. Immunomodulatory activity of the aqueous extract from rhizome of Smilax glabra in the later phase of adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Mar;85(1):53-9.
Li GS, Jiang WL, Yue XD, Qu GW, Tian JW, Wu J, Fu FH. Effect of astilbin on experimental diabetic nephropathy in vivo and in vitro. Planta Med. 2009 Nov;75(14):1470-5.
Liu C, Kang Y, Zhou X, Yang Z, Guc J, Han C. Rhizoma smilacis glabrae protects rats with gentamicin-induced kidney injury from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis by inhibiting caspase-3 activation. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Volume 198, 23 February 2017, Pages 122–130.
Lu CL, Zhu W, Wang D, Chen W, Hu M, Wang M, Xu X, and Lu C. Inhibitory Effects of Chemical Compounds Isolated from the Rhizome of Smilax glabra on Nitric Oxide and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Production in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced RAW264.7 Cell. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 602425, 9 pages.
Lu CL, Zhu YF, Wang D, Chen W, Hu MM, Wang DM, Xu XJ, and Lu CJ. Optimization of Astilbin Extraction from the Rhizome of Smilax glabra, and Evaluation of Its Anti-Inflammatory Effect and Probable Underlying Mechanism in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced RAW264.7 Macrophages. Molecules 2015, 20, 625-644.
Ooi LSM et al. Antiviral and Anti-proliferative Glycoproteins from the Rhizome of Smilax glabra Roxb (Liliaceae). Am. J. Chin. Med. 36, 185 (2008).
Sa F, Gao JL, Fung KP, Zheng Y, Lee SM, Wang YT. Anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effect of Smilax glabra Roxb. extract on hepatoma cell lines. Chemico-Biological Interactions. Volume 171, Issue 1, 10 January 2008, Pages 1–14.
Wang M, Yang X, Zhao J, Lu C, Zhu W. Structural characterization and macrophage immunomodulatory activity of a novel polysaccharide from Smilax glabra Roxb. Carbohydrate Polymers. Volume 156, 20 January 2017, Pages 390–402.
Xia D, Yu X, Liao S, Shao Q, Mou H, Ma W. Protective effect of Smilax glabra extract against lead-induced oxidative stress in rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Volume 130, Issue 2, 20 July 2010, Pages 414–420.
Xu S, Shang MY, Liu GX, Xu F, Wang X, Shou CC and Cai SQ. Chemical Constituents from the Rhizomes of Smilax glabra and Their Antimicrobial Activity. Molecules 2013, 18(5), 5265-5287.
Zhang QF, Guo YX, Shangguan X, Zheng G, Wang WJ. Antioxidant and anti-proliferative activity of Rhizoma Smilacis Chinae extracts and main constituents. Food Chemistry. Vol 133, Issue 1, 1 July 2012, Pages 140–145.
Zhang QF, Zhang ZR, Cheung HY. Antioxidant activity of Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae extracts and its key constituent-astilbin. Food Chemistry. Volume 115, Issue 1, 1 July 2009, Pages 297–303.