• rhymes with arteriole, bronchiole, and vacuole
  • also known as shikimol or 5-allylbenzo-1,3-dioxole
  • a colourless to slightly yellow (think the colour range of healthy pee) oily liquid at room temperature
  • extracted from the root bark of the sassafras tree and also present in low levels in numerous other plants
  • has been used as a flavouring agent in root beer (the original flavour), sassafras tea, and other foods
  • in 1960, the FDA banned its use in the USA as a food additive after is was found that it causes liver cancer in rats
  • no reported cases of liver toxicity or cancer in humans have been attributed to sassafras consumption - it is important to realize that not all substances that are carcinogenic in lab animals cause cancer in humans (i.e. animal models do not always predict the toxic effects of a substance in humans)
  • is used in the synthesis of piperonyl butoxide (added to insecticides to increase their potency) and the mood-modifying amphetamines MDMA (Ecstacy) and MDE (Eve)

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