3 Benefits of the Herb Sorrel
It was held in high esteem by Henry VIII, Roman soldiers sucked on the leaves to quench their thirst and Thomas Jefferson attempted to grow it in his garden. Sorrel, native to North America, Europe and Asia means “sour” in French and goes by other names such as Bread and Cheese, Sour Leaves, Tom Thumbs and Sour Sauce. This powerful little herb can do wonders for your overall health but also has a dark side.
Digestion and Liver
Through out Europe, Sorrel has been used as a spring tonic to help stimulate the liver after a winter of eating rich foods. Consuming it as a soup is gentle on the liver and helps aid digestion. Sorrel, just like many other leafy greens is a good source of fibre, meaning when you add the leaves to salads it adds bulk to food therefore improving digestion and reducing constipation and diarrhea. Fibre, according to the American Heart Association helps reduce cholesterol and aids in weight reduction.
Sorrel is rich in vitamin C which most know is great to keeping the immune system strong and healthy. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and helps combat free radicals in the body. A cup of sorrel keeps the doctor away!
A leaf may be used as a poultice to help treat skin conditions such as acne, rashes and dry itchy skin. Because of its high vitamin C content it is also a great way to boost collagen production to keep skin looking and feeling good. The antioxidants prevent premature aging in the skin, helping you keep that youthful glow.
The Dark Side
Be mindful not to consume Sorrel in too great a quantity or too frequently. It contains oxalic acid and consuming too much may cause damage to your health. Very large doses can be poisonous. If you suffer from kidney stones, gallstones, or rheumatic type conditions you will want to limit your usage of Sorrel. However, in small quantities it can be a very powerful herb to your health.