[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 1944


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1944;50(1):23-24. doi:10.1001/archderm.1944.01510130026006

Thurmon's1 report of 62 per cent good results in the treatment of psoriasis with tablets made from an extract of sarsaparilla containing the water-soluble saponin, sarsasaponin, prompted me to use the medicament for a small series of patients under personal observation. The study was carried on over an eighteen month period beginning June 1942 and ending January 1944. Ernst Bischoff Company, Incorporated, of Ivoryton, Conn., supplied the sarsasaponin (Sas-Par) tablets. Each tablet contained 0.25 Gm. of the dried extract.

The mechanism involved in the alleged beneficial effects of sarsaparilla on psoriasis is unsettled. Some2 have claimed an increase in the cholesterol, phosphatides and total fat of the blood of psoriatic patients. Sarsasaponin, the active ingredient of the Honduras or Mexican sarsaparilla root, has been shown3 to have a definite chemical affinity for cholesterol. Perhaps the saponin "neutralizes" the excess fats in the blood.