Sarsaparilla (smilax officinalis) has been used for its beneficial properties for hundreds of years by many different cultures. In Roman times, the young shoots were eaten, and the mature vines were worn as garland at festivals of Bacchus by the common people. According to ancient Roman writings, Sarsaparilla came from the maiden Smilax, who upon her love being slighted by the young Crocus, was transformed into this shrub. In other cultures, the herb was not popular until the 16th century when Spanish explorers discovered the Caribbean species, a prickly (zarza) vine (parra) that was small (illa). That description became our word Sarsaparilla, and for the next 300-400 years, Sarsaparilla was used extensively for its beneficial properties. Since 1922, Alvita has been making the finest herb teas money can buy. Pure, natural singles and blends that bring you unsurpassed enjoyment, healthful benefits and complete satisfaction. No less reassuring is our unwavering commitment to the environment. Today, no herb tea company goes as far to protect the Earth and its precious resources—this package and its contents being testimony. There is no plastic shrink wrap on the outside. The box is 100% recycled board that can be recycled again. The finish is soybean-based. Our tea bags are English Pillow Style, with no strings, tags or staples attached. Even the tea bag paper is recyclable. And all our bags are oxygen bleached, not chlorine bleached, to safeguard you and our ground water. Degradable. Recyclable. Reusable. The key component of each is the word able . At Alvita, we wholeheartedly believe we are all able to play a key role in preserving the wondrous world we live in. For us, it starts with offering you the most environmentally safe and responsible herb teas possible.