Sorrel is a leafy green vegetable that looks a lot like spinach. This vegetable is native to Europe and is commonly known as spinach dock, sour grabs, or sour grass. One of the main ingredients in sorrel is oxalic acid, which gives it its acidity and prominent taste. Sorrel is extremely low in calories and high in water content, which makes it a healthy food choice for health conscious individuals. Some of the other important nutritional information and facts about sorrel are:
- It is an extremely rich source of vitamin A, B9, and C
- It is a good source of vital minerals such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and calcium
- Being rich in oxalic acid, sorrel may not be an ideal choice for everyone, especially those suffering from rheumatism, bladder, and kidney stones
- It contains powerful laxative properties and over consumption may result in diarrhea
- It is low in energy content but provides adequate dietary fibers
Not only can you use sorrel as both a fresh and dried herb in cooking, you can also use it to prepare hot and cold teas.
Apart from its regular uses, there are also a number of health benefits of sorrel. Sorrel contains nutraceleuticals that are very effective in treating and preventing a wide variety of diseases including cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Some of the main health benefits of sorrel concerning specific health problems are as under:
- Hypertension: Experts recommend drinking tea made from sorrel for blood pressure reduction, especially in patients suffering from type-2 diabetes. Studies have shown that drinking 2-3 cups of sorrel tea everyday helps in lowering the blood pressure considerably by at least 7-14mm hg. Researchers believe that the anthocyanins found in the sorrel plant are responsible for effectively reducing high blood pressure.
- Cancer: The flavonoids found in the sorrel plant are good deterrents against particular types of cancers. These flavonoids help in destroying cancer cells in the body and prevent further spread of this disease. They are also helpful in strengthening the immune system. Sheep sorrel in particular is a good natural cure for cancer. It contains oxalic acid and chlorophyll that are both effective in fighting cancer. Therefore, many people regularly eat sorrel leaves as a preventive measure against cancer.
- Hair: Sorrel is also a good natural treatment for dry and damaged hair. It is widely used in commercial hair care products for this very reason. Experts believe that sorrel can also help control balding when applied regularly to bald patches. Therefore, it is also considered a good cure for mild hair loss.
Some of the other health benefits of sorrel are as follows:
- Sorrel leaves help cure gonorrhea, urinary tract infections, scurvy, chronic catarrh, and hemorrhages
- Sorrel contains powerful antioxidants that help prevent premature aging
- Sorrel leaves are dried and used for the treatment of ringworm, itchy skin, and seasonal fevers
- Sorrel tea is a natural cure for kidney stones and jaundice
- It is a natural laxative that helps in treating problems like constipation
- Sorrel leaf juice is applied topically for the treatment of ulcers, boils, and malignant tumors
- Sorrel is also effective in curing scorbutic and inflammatory diseases
Sorrel for Women:
Sorrel is a good food for women because of its nutritional contents. Being a rich source of calcium, it is good for maintaining bone health in women and preventing problems like osteoporosis. However, due to the lack of scientific evidence, experts do not recommend eating sorrel during pregnancy. Some herbal tinctures of sorrel may contain high levels of alcohol that may be harmful to the developing baby. According to experts, sorrel is also one of the herbs to avoid during the breastfeeding tenure. A large intake of sorrel may reduce the supply of breast milk and in turn hamper the baby’s nutritional needs. On the other hand, sorrel is a good herb to use when weaning, to reduce milk flow.
Sheep sorrel in particular is a good treatment for breast cancer. It helps in effectively breaking down and reducing tumors in the body. It is a rich source of various vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and chlorophyll that help in fighting breast cancer. Chlorophyll increases the oxygen supply in the body and health experts believe that cancer cells cannot survive for long in an oxygen rich environment. Being rich in oxalic acid, it has powerful anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties that arrest the metastasizing of cancer cells.
Healing and Medicinal Properties:
For centuries, experts in folk medicine have advocated sorrel healing and the medicinal properties of this herb. Some of its essential medicinal properties are as under:
- Sorrel contains powerful antioxidant properties that help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.
- It contains effective diuretic properties that help in increasing the production of urine, thereby assisting in weight loss as well.
- Sorrel has powerful detoxifying properties that help in the elimination of harmful toxins from the body that can cause a number of diseases and infections.
- It contains protocatechuic acid that helps eliminate harmful free radicals from the body.
- Sorrel also contains effective anti-bacterial properties that help prevent as well as treat a number of infections and related diseases.
- It helps strengthen the functioning of the heart and liver and fights various inflammations present in the body.
- A combination of sorrel juice and castor oil in equal proportions is an effective cure for insomnia and other problems.
Side Effects of Sorrel
Although sorrel has a number of health benefits, it is also important to understand its risks on health. One of the biggest hazards of sorrel is that it can lead to death when eaten in large quantities, because of its high oxalic acid content. Some of its other side effects include:
- Kidney stones
- Stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin rash
- Skin irritation
- Muscle spasms
- Liver disease