Sorrel: medicinal properties, method of use and benefits


Rumex sorrel





Sorrel, Rumex sorrel, belongs to the family of Polygonaceae and it is a very common plant in our countryside in grassy places, rocks and up to 2500 m above sea level.

It is a perennial plant with an erect stem up to 90 cm tall, reddish and very branched with large oval leaves and the lower ones provided with a long petiole while the upper ones lack it.

The flowers are gathered in panicles and are green - reddish. It blooms from June to August.


Sorrel is rich in potassium, iron, chlorophyll, oxalic acid to which it owes its sour taste and vitamin C.

Its properties are: antiscorbutics, purifying, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogues, laxative, refreshing, stomachic, tonic.


Fresh leaves and stems and the root are used from the sorrel plant.

The harvest must be carried out in May - June, before complete flowering.


The decoction and the infusion for anemia, as a detoxifier, for acne and dermatitis.

Fresh leaf poultices for skin irritations and insect bites.

The foot bath to decongest and promote the blood circulation of the feet.

In the kitchen, the fresh leaves can be used as a purifying spring salad.


A peculiarity of this plant is that it is incompatible with mineral water and copper containers.

It is also called brusque or oxalide grass.


Despite having many properties, it is not tolerated by everyone and in any case it must be taken with caution because in high quantities it can cause intoxication.

Sorrel: what it is, its properties and how to use it in the kitchen

Let's discover thesorrel, a herbaceous plant that we can harvest even in the cold season, whose leaves with a characteristic sour taste lend themselves to various uses in the kitchen.

Sorrel or even French sorrel (in Latin Rumex sorrel) is a very common plant in Italy, easy to find and harvest. It has intense green leaves: rich in water, slightly acidic, rich in vitamin C and iron and other substances that give it a pleasantly sour taste.

In the garden it is easy to grow. This perennial plant it is sown in spring and can produce different crops throughout the year, even if grown in containers.

Sorrel or Rumex acetos: properties, benefits and uses

This plant is also known as: Herb abrupt, Garden sorrel, Sheeps sorrel, Sour dock, Oseille de jardin, Azedinha da horta, Rumicis herba, Rumicis fructus, Rumicis radi.

Sorrel is an evergreen plant widespread throughout the Italian region and can be harvested throughout the year. The countryside and the areas where there are large expanses of lawn are rich in it.

Its therapeutic properties, known since ancient times, are due to the presence of potassium, iron, oxalic acid (to which it owes its sour taste), chlorophyll and vitamin C, which the plant is rich in.

Promotes purification and fights bad digestion

Sorrel leaves contain bitters. They carry out adetoxifying action and stimulating the liver and stomach, the plant can be used in the form of a decoction but its leaves can also be ingested fresh, in salads or as a side dish in dishes. The sorrel leaves can also be eaten as if they were spinach, that is, after boiling them, or they can be added to soups or cooked vegetables in general. A sauce can also be prepared to accompany fish and meat.

It has laxative and diuretic properties

Thanks to the presence of anthraquinones, substances that stimulate intestinal peristalsis favoring the transit of metabolic waste. Suitable in case of constipation and swelling, we recommend the consumption of fresh leaves in the salad and the intake of herbal teas every evening in order to favor the ingestion of liquids the root, extracted from the ground in autumn and placed in infusion or decoction, has a laxative and diuretic action.

Refreshing, decongesting and invigorating

The decongestant effect is carried out by flavonoids, found especially in red fruits, they promote the stimulation of the blood circulation of the feet and legs, benefiting the microcirculation. A foot bath is recommended in case of haemolymphatic stasis e cramps.

Useful against anemia

The plant is beneficial in anemic subjects as it stimulates the formation of erythrocytes and the presence of vitamin C increases the absorption of iron.

Contains sources of vitamins C and acts against scurvy

The action carried out by the vitamin C contributes contained in the plant acts in case of deficiencies in the immune defenses, flu, stress and diseases of the venous microcirculation.

Effective against acne and dermatitis

in case of seborrhea, acne and skin diseases the skin undergoes an imbalance of the hydrolipidic mantle with consequent bacterial proliferation and alteration of the stratum corneum. The action of the sorrel is excellent in these situations thanks to the high presence of tannins, substances with a known astringent and decongestant action, as well as purifying and antibacterial. You can use poultices of fresh leaves directly on the skin, excellent both on irritated skin and on insect bites or the infusion that can be taken in the evening before going to bed in herbal medicine you can also find mother tincture, a formulation obtained from the plant whole, useful as in the treatment of dermatosis.

Anti-inflammatory in affections of the mouth and oral cavity

The soothing action is carried out by the tannins present in the plant in case of stomatitis, sore throat, gingivitis, decoctions and herbal teas are recommended.

The cultivation of sorrel dates back to the time of Charlemagne

In fact, since the Middle Ages its virtues were appreciated so much that Charlemagne ordered its cultivation in all the gardens. At that time it was used a lot in case of fever, lack of appetite and vitamin C deficiency (scurvy). The parts used are flowers, roots and leaves.

Effective against insect bites and skin irritations

In the form of poultices, sorrel leaves act positively on the skin, helping to make swelling and itching caused by insect tips or simple skin irritations disappear.

Promotes circulation

In case of pain in the lower limbs, tingling or simple tiredness it is advisable to take a foot bath with the extracts of this medicinal plant that facilitate the blood circulation of the feet.

It closes the pores and makes blackheads disappear

One of the best known cosmetic properties of sorrel is to act beneficially when it comes into contact with the skin. In fact, with a simple compress of fresh leaves, dilated pores can be closed and blackheads visibly reduced.

Sorrel can be safely eaten raw or cooked

To the delight of our raw food readers, fresh sorrel stems can be eaten raw directly or used as a condiment given the particular sour taste.

This herb lends itself very well in the preparation of salads and side dishes thanks to its synergy with spinach and other cooked vegetables.

A curiosity has it that A curiosity has it that in Vietnam sorrel is called Rau Chua and is used together with fresh vegetables and lettuce for Bánh X? O, one of the country's specialties.

Cultivation does not present difficulties and has an excellent yield

To grow Rumex acetosa it is important to know that this plant does not present any difficulties. It can be harvested just two months after sowing and the flowering period is in summer between June and August.

The only concrete obstacle concerns parasites, in fact some types of snails, especially in humid areas, tend to attack the shoots in the first period of sowing. Furthermore, if you want to have a luxuriant plant for uses such as decoctions and poultices, it is advisable to water the plant abundantly in hot periods.

Remember also that sorrel should be positioned in such a way that it is protected from bad weather and wind, possibly with a cloth, to protect the leaves, the parts that together with the roots are most used in homeopathy and natural remedies.

Contraindications and warnings before use

Sorrel is prohibited for people suffering from kidney stones, arthritis, gout, rheumatism and hyperacidity due to the presence of calcium oxalates. In uncertain cases the variety is recommended hortensis, which is the cultivated one and which contains less oxalates. It may also present a potential nephrotoxicity, so its use on children and people with kidney problems is not recommended.

The properties of sorrel

They can be detected in the sorrel high concentrations of oxalic acid, vitamin C and mucilage, mainly present in its leaves.

This plant possesses important diuretic and purifying properties which make it a useful ally against problems affecting the digestive system.

For external use sorrel proves to be a valid natural remedy to be applied in case of skin rashes or for reddened and inflamed skin or for treat small lesions of the oral cavity thanks to its effectiveness decongestant, astringent and anti-inflammatory.

However, it is recommended to take only small quantities of the plant due to thehigh concentration of oxalic acid. The latter is one of the classics anti-nutrients that hinder digestion. For the same reason it is contraindicated for those suffering from kidney diseases, gastric, intestinal and hepatic disorders.

Properties of sorrel

Sorrel can be considered a vegetable suitable for protecting the body against the feverish statuses. Among its many uses it is also known as an excellent remedy forlack of appetite. At the same time it is a popular plant for treating hemorrhoids.

The leaves of the sorrel plant are antioxidants and rich in numerous nutrients. As vitamins are present A, some of the B group (B1, B2, B9) and C. Naturally, the quantities of fibers and vegetable proteins. There is no shortage of carbohydrates, water and mineral salts. Now finished with the chemical composition, it is time to proceed. Let's now give space to therapeutic properties of sorrel. According to various studies on the subject, it is certain that it is diuretic is laxative. Apart from this improves digestion as it stimulates gastric juices to be produced more quickly.

The availability of many of its antioxidant compounds makes it a very useful food against free radicals. This vegetable has numerous substances that protect against iron deficiency. Consuming sorrel is therefore useful in case of anemia. Of course it also works as a preventative formula. Fibers are also allies against the bad cholesterol, sorrel can therefore be defined as a health-friendly food, in particular for the cardiovascular system.

Other positive effects found by experts regarding the presence of vitamin A in sorrel they are those that protect the eyesight, such as the situation known as twilight blindness. Sometimes this problem is caused by a disorder, other times by the lack of vitamin A which is in fact very important for night vision.

Sorrel is also an ally of women as it protects and prevents from breast cancer. The extraordinary chemical composition of sorrel (which includes flavonoids, mineral salts, chlorophyll, vitamins, etc.) proves useful in countering the onset of these cancer cells.

How to use

Sorrel is a food that is used 100%, ie the leaves and roots (in addition to the stem) are widely used in various fields. Sorrel is in fact a therapeutic plant which, if used correctly, proves beneficial from several points of view, as we have been able to analyze earlier. Its composition makes it suitable for treatingcold sores. Being a very versatile remedy for the body, let's now try to proceed calmly towards its many uses. Below are several suggestions about it, without obviously considering the one in the kitchen for food purposes!

The decoction of sorrel it is a natural remedy for obtaining diuretic effects. The taste is also good and at the same time it is a refreshing drink. A concentrate of minerals, vitamins and much more. We must not abuse it with its intake of course.

Once the leaves of this plant have been cooked in a pot with water, they can be used against ailments such as acne and boils. Practical use involves padding on the affected areas. All this is thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of sorrel.

The simple but frequent consumption of this vegetable boosts the immune system. According to some sources, the sorrel juice combined with castor oil it can improve the functioning of the nervous system. In fact, it is shown to be indicated as a herbal remedy. The quantities to be used must be fair, naturally experts in herbal medicine can provide all the information about it.

  • The sorrel, despite being a little sour to the taste, is excellent with other vegetables. Carrots, salads, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach etc. It can be ingested fresh, but without exceeding in quantity.
  • With the leaves, a decoction with numerous therapeutic properties is obtained. One of the most famous benefits is that aimed at treating oral hygiene. In fact, it is useful against gingivitis.
  • Obviously there is no lack of the mother tincture of sorrel. A product that purifies, fights constipation, dermatosis etc.
  • It is used against insect bites and some irritations affecting the skin.


Sorrel is a vegetable that deserves attention when it comes to wellness and health. Unfortunately, however, as you can easily imagine, it is not exempt from owning some contraindications. Its consumption must therefore be monitored. In fact, first of all, sorrel contains an element (oxalic acid) that is not suitable for the body. This component is harmful in 2 situations:

  • When taken in large quantities, the body is unable to assimilate calcium properly and this has significant negative effects on the body.
  • It becomes harmful to health when sorrel leaves are cooked in aluminum or iron pots.

Furthermore, eating large quantities of this plant food is not at all suitable for health. In fact, symptoms of various kinds are related, such as: nausea, diarrhea, dizziness and rejection. Unfortunately, exceeding with sorrel can also lead to liver problems.

People who can experience problems in consuming it are mostly those who suffer from: hyperacidity, stones, rheumatism, arthritis and gout. Of course, taking it is contraindicated in such situations, because it seems to worsen the symptoms. As a final warning, do not ingest the raw leaves in large quantities, otherwise the sorrel will be poisonous to the body. Sometimes liver injuries have also been found. Finally, it is recommended to choose young leaves rather than old ones.


Does Dandelion Hurt?

  • There are no contraindications to the use of Dandelion in adults in good health, except for the presence of individual hypersensitivity reactions to its components.
    Do not administer in case of confirmed allergy to Asteraceae.
  • Dandelion is also contraindicated in the occlusion of the biliary tract, such as in the presence of hepato-biliary stones, and in the case of cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), cholangitis (inflammation of the bile ducts) or other conditions of suffering of the gallbladder.
  • Use in patients with renal insufficiency and / or diabetes and / or heart failure should be avoided due to possible risks due to hyperkalaemia.
  • The use during pregnancy, lactation and under 12 years should generally be considered contraindicated, unless the doctor considers it strictly necessary.

Video: Health Benefits Of Eating Sorrel

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