I dried the leaves, and I also have some root I have dried. The only problem is what part of the sassafras tree to use: the leaves, the root, or the stems. The leaves are going to be weaker than the stems, and the stems weaker than the root.
Absolutely use the bark and the wood of the sassafras root. Dried sassafras leaves are ground to make file' powder for gumbo. Steam distilled and highly concentrated oil made from sassafras root bark contains a compound called "safrole" which is one of the precusors of Ecstasy. It takes tons to make it though. The root was also used to make sarsaparilla, used by some microbrewers for flavoring too. It is also an anticoagulant and it was told by the older people in my area of the country, that it thinned the blood and was a popular "tonic" for the springtime for cleansing the blood.
I do know that the use of sassafras as a beverage goes way back into the colonial times. Just to add, there was also a study of safrole done on lab rats. Basically, make sure that sassafras is not something you drink excessively.
That's true Spicedorangetea. Of course no one told us that when we were growing up. We would always have a pot on the back of the stove. If you ran out of tea, you left the root in the pan and just added water. You could go almost all winter and just use one pot of sassafras root.
I am thinking of doing a little digging, literal digging that is, and get some roots. I have heard that it is best to gather the roots during the fall. Oh, by the way, I tried making saloop and it's pretty good!