Sarsaparilla is one of the best known purifying and detoxifying herbs. This is a very valuable herb for those looking to do a thorough cleansing of their internal body. The saponins contained within the herb help to cleanse mucous from the lungs, and toxins from the skin, urine and intestines. It also helps to increase metabolism which can be a great boost for those looking to lose weight.
It contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals including Copper, Vitamin A & D, and Iron. It has been used throughout history as an eye wash, for skin blemishes and ringworm, and also for venereal diseases.
When consuming this herb for internal cleansing, I usually steep the roots as a tea which has a spicy and sweet taste with a small hint of bitterness. The root is often the start of many beer recipes as well. You can find a few of those recipes here: http://files.meetup.com/306773/root%20beer%20recipes.txt