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What is a Sassafras tree?

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Quick Answer

Sassafras albidum is a deciduous tree native to North America. It is generally found in the eastern United States and is an important source of food and shelter to many wild animals and birds.

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What is a Sassafras tree?
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Full Answer

Sassafras bark and root are used to make the flavoring for root beer, a beverage derived from the popular 19th-century soda sarsaparilla. Both the bark and roots have the classic root beer aroma. Some parts of the tree contain safrole, which is believed to be carcinogenic. The leaves; however, do not contain safrole, and are used to make a spice called filé, a popular flavoring in Cajun cooking.

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