Filé powder

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Filé powder, also called gumbo filé, is a spice made from dried and ground sassafras leaves. It is used in the making of some types of gumbo, a Cajun soup/stew. It is sprinkled sparingly over gumbo as a seasoning and a thickening agent, giving it a distinctive flavor and texture. Filé was originally an okra substitute when okra was not in season.[citation needed]

Safrole, the main constituent of sassafras oil which is distilled from the bark of sassafras roots, has been shown to cause liver cancer in laboratory rats.[1] However, sassafras leaves are free of safrole and are safe for consumption.[citation needed]

External links


  1. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997:152-4.
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