Sorrel

Rumex acetosa

A common perennial herb growing up to 60cm (22 in) in height. The edible, arrow-shaped leaves are crimson turning to purple in colour and give a bitter taste in raw salads. Still grows wild in Northern Europe as well being cultivated as a salad vegetable.

Family: Polygonaceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Sorrel is a key ingredient in Bio-Live Gold and Bio-Live Dark.

Habit and cultivation: Native to UK and most of Europe and grows in most soils under a variety of conditions. Found more abundantly in fields where the soil content is high in iron.

Actions (known for): Bitter digestive tonic, anti-inflammatory, refrigerant, diuretic and anti-bacterial.

History

Derived from the Germanic word ‘sur’, translating as sour. Also called ‘Cuckoo’s-meate’, from a historical belief that the bird cleared its voice box by indulging in sorrel. Mentioned in Jamaican literature as a sour herb in the 1700s. One of the ingredients of Essiac tea.

Parts used:

Leaves both dried and fresh.

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Oxalate acid, tartaric and tannic acids.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: A and C. Minerals: potassium.

Indications:

Fevers, gargle for sore throat, constipation, skin tumours and internal ulcers. Topically: wounds from chicken pox, boils and bruises.

Dosage:

An extract of leaves (25g to half litre of boiling water) used as a cooling drink for fever. 1tsp infused into hot water and left for 15-20mins, drink 3 x daily.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Cautions for therapeutic doses

Gout, kidney stones and arthritis.

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