Ground Jamaican Chaney Root

Chaney Root: 5 Traditional Uses and Benefits

Chaney root is the Jamaican name for the Smilax balbisiana species of the smilax plant family.

The smilax plant genus consists of between 300 to 350 different species all of which belong to the Smilacaceae family.

Smilax balbisiana is an endemic Jamaican species. It grows wild in the Cockpit country which is a densely wooded area of the Island.

But Chaney root can also be found in other Caribbean islands and in Central and South America as well.

Other common names for Smilax balbisiana are chaney vine, god bush, and chaney wider, prickly vine among others.

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Traditional Uses For Smilax Balbisiana

In the case of other smilax species, the young leaves and berries are the sections used for medicinal purposes.

However, in the case of Chaney root it is the underground creeping rootstalk (rhizome) that is used.

The underground section is dug up, cut into small pieces and sun dried.

It is then cut into smaller pieces or ground to make a powder that is used as folk medicinal treatment.

Chaney root is known as one of the earliest folk cures for syphilis.

In addition, tea made using the herb is commonly used to treat diabetes, hypertension, boosting energy and reducing flatulence.

Chopped pieces of the root is used along with other ingrediest make root tonics for boosting energy levels.

In fact one study of 38 different Jamaican root tonics found that Chaney root was the only common ingredient in 100 percent of the tonics studied. 

Chaney Root Health Benefits

Bioactive compounds found in Smilax balbisiana extracts indicate that root may be beneficial in the treatment of disease in the future.

For example some bioactive compounds in the herb may help disease treatment because they have the ability to:

  • Reduce  inflammation.
  • Build immunity.
  • Assist in Weight Loss.
  • Improve  skin conditions
  • Act as a diuretic.
  • Treat anemia.
  • Increasing male fertility.

What’s In Chaney Root Herb

Like all other species of smilax plants, smilax balbisiana cotains vitamins A and C and vitamin D and B complex.

There are also at least seven important trace minerals found in the Chaney root too.

Minerals In Chaney Root (Similax Balbisiana)


Boost the circulation of blood throughout the body. 
SulfurHelps improve skin conditions like acne
and seborrheic dermatitis.
CopperContributes to the body’s ability to absorb  iron.
SiliconStrengthen bones and boost the body’s immune system.
IronPlays a major role in the production of red blood cells.
SodiumAssist with proper nerves and muscle function.
Helps prevent muscle cramps.
IodineEnables proper functioning of the thyroid.

One of the most significant findings is that Chaney root has the potential to play a major role in the management of type 2 diabetes. 

This study establishes that the rhizome of Smilax balbisiana contains compounds that contribute to its hypoglycaemic and antioxidant activities and may be beneficial for the management of diabetes.

Source: LONGDOM 

Chaney Root Side Effects

There is no scientific data to indicate that Chaney root does not pose any safety risk. However, pregnant women may want to exercise caution when using the root and related products.


It is always wise to talk with your doctor before starting any herbal regimen.


Chaney root is the Jamaican local name for Smilax Balbisiana genus. Unlike other smilax species, the underground creeping section of this plant is the section used for medicial purposes.

There is very scientific data to support the belief that Chaney root is an aphrodisiac. However evidence does show that active compounds in the herb may contribute to enhancing male fertility.

The herb is marketed online in the form of supplements, tinctures and powders.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated on the site should be viewed as medical advice. Please talk to a professional healthcare provider about matters relating to medical treatment.

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