Sorrel also called Sheep Sorrel or Rumex acetosella


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Common sorrel or garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa), often simply called sorrel, is a perennial herb in the family Polygonaceae. Other names for sorrel include spinach dock and narrow-leaved dock. It is a common plant in grassland habitats and is cultivated as a garden herb or salad vegetable (pot herb)

Sheep Sorrel Rumex acetosella

Scientific classification:

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Rumex
Species: R. acetosella
Binomial name: Rumex acetosella


A perennial herb that has a slender and reddish upright stem that is branched at the top, reaching a height of 18 inches (0.5 meters). The arrow-shaped leaves are small, slightly longer than 1 inch (3 cm), and smooth with a pair of horizontal lobes at the base. It blooms during March to November, when yellowish-green (male) or reddish (female) flowers develop on separate plants at the apex of the stem, which develop into the red fruits (achenes).

Culinary uses:

There are several uses of sheep sorrel in the preparation of food including a garnish, a tart flavoring agent, a salad green, and a curdling agent for milk in cheese-making. The leaves have a lemony, tangy or nicely tart flavor. It is also known as sheep shower in parts of the country.

Medicinal Uses:

According to the GALE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: “Sheep sorrel is gaining popularity as an anticancer agent and for its ability to break down and reduce tumors. A poultice made from sheep sorrel is reported to have a drawing effect on tumors or cysts. Sheep sorrel’s rutins and polysaccharides act to prevent tumors and other cancerous growths. The beta carotene contained in sheep sorrel acts as an antioxidant, increasing the production of white blood cells and T-cells (cancer-killing cells). The chlorophyll in sheep sorrel acts to purify the liver, promote regeneration of tissue, decrease swelling of the pancreas, strengthen cell walls, cleanse the blood, and may increase resistance to x rays. The oxalic acid also has antitumor and anticancer properties. Sheep sorrel has also been used to treat the side effects of chemotherapy.

“Herbalists recommend sheep sorrel for treating mouth and throat ulcers, digestive disorders, hemorrhoids, loss of appetite, fevers, scurvy, and infections. The juice extracted from the fresh plant is used to treat urinary and kidney disease. Sheep sorrel can be applied externally as a topical wash for skin problems such as herpes, eczema, and itchy rashes including poison ivy and hives.

“All parts of sheep sorrel (leaves, flowers, roots, and stems) are used medicinally. The leaves and stems should be harvested in the spring or summer before the flowers form. The roots are harvested in the fall. Small quantities of the leaves of sheep sorrel may be eaten in salads or boiled as a green vegetable. Sheep sorrel is also available in tincture, capsule, or tea form. The leaves are brewed as a tea to treat fever, inflammation, and scurvy. A tea made from the roots is used for diarrhea and excessive menstrual bleeding.” [THE GALE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE, pp. 1570-1571]

Bibliographic details for “Rumex acetosella”
Page name: Rumex acetosella
Author: Wikipedia contributors
Publisher: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Date of last revision: 29 October 2017 02:38 UTC
Date retrieved: 31 October 2017 18:41 UTC
Permanent link:
Primary contributors: Revision history statistics
Page Version ID: 807617854