Sarsaparilla is the root of a woody vine found in Mexico, Jamaica and Central America. Its name is derived from the Spanish for shrub and little vine.
When anthropologists began coming to the new world they found Sarsaparilla in heavy use among Amazon natives. It later gained large scale popularity in the US in the 1800's.
The taste of this tea later prompted the creation of "Root Beer." Try adding a touch of sweetener to make a mug of your own brew.