Ancient sailors knew of sorrel health benefits because of its anti-scurvy properties. The plant’s leaves are a true joy, with their acid flavor for outdoor meals. Today, we know that the plant contains 20 to 25 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams (lemon contains 50 mg).
Sorrel Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name – Rumex acetosa L.
- Other Names – Common Sorrel, garden sorrel, meadow sorrel, sourgrass.
- French – Oseille.
- Spanish – Acedera.
- Environment – Common mountain meadows all over Europe and America.
- Description – Vivacious plant of the Polygonaceae family, growing from 20 to 70 cm high, with large, arrow-shaped leaves and green or reddish flowers that grow in spikes.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally – The leaves and the root.
The entire plant contains 1.3 percent potassium oxalate, oxalic acid, small amounts of anthraquinone glycosides, vitamin C, and iron salts. Its properties are the following:
- Appetizer, refreshing, invigorating, and antiscorbutic, due to is the content of organic acids and vitamin C content. Among the many sorrel health benefits is its ability to ease digestion. Therefore, it is recommended for people weakened by infectious diseases and those who suffer from anemia.
- Emollient and cicatrizant (healing agent), in external use. It alleviates acne and skin blemishes. Its fresh juice cleans skin sores and infected wounds.
Never exceed the recommended dosage. We recommend throwing away the broth when taken boiled since it contains high amounts of oxalic acid. Its use should be avoided with gout, arthritis, and kidney stones because of its high oxalic acid content.
The wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella L.) is vibrant, climbing plant similar to the Sorrel. Its leaves contain bioxalate of potassium, oxalic acid, vitamin C, and mucilage. They are depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, and refreshing. Its most important application is a refreshing herbal tea in the case of diseases with fever or as a depurative to perform a Spring cure.
It is also used as a fresh vegetable in soups or salads and infusions (a handful of leaves per liter of water). Its use demands the same caution as that of the sorrel.
How to use Sorrel
- Infusion with thirty grams of leaves per liter of water, drinking two or three cups a day.
- Fresh juice: a glass every day.
- Fresh juice lotion on the afflicted skin area.
- Poultices with boiled leaves.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 275. Print.[sorrel health benefits]