Sorrel is a herb with powerful healing properties that comes in different varieties and can be used to treat a number of medical conditions. One variety of Sorrel is used to create an alternative treatment for cancer — Essiac Tea — while another is added to soups and salads for its nutritional benefit as part of a healthy diet. It is a versatile herb that has been used for hundreds of years. For this reason it is essential to consult a medical practitioner such as a trained herbalist before using it as a treatment for a serious condition.
This variety of sorrel lends a tangy, lemon flavor to soups and salads. It is important to always use fresh-picked sorrel as it becomes bitter relatively quickly. Sheep sorrel can easily be grown in the home in window boxes or herb gardens and is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and vitamin C. It is a primary ingredient in the traditional Ojibwa Tea of Life known as Essiac tea. According to Vanderbilt University, Essiac tea is primarily known for its ability to fight cancer. In an article entitled ‘Essiac, Tea of Life’ by Samantha Kidwell, drinking the tea may help to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling due to fluid retention, improve overall health, slow the growth of tumors and help cancer patients gain weight. In addition, Essiac tea, restores liver function, strengthens the heart and increases a patient’s appetite. Consult your natural health practitioner before starting treatment with Sorrel or Essiac tea, as it may cause side effects.
According to NYU Langone University Medical Center, Common Sorrel has shown promise in treating sinusitis when used in combination with Evening Primrose, Vervain, Gentian and Elderberry. This combination of herbs helps reduce the recovery time of a sinus infection by reducing mucous build up, relieving congestion and boosting the immune system. Common Sorrel was used centuries ago as a preventative treatment for scurvy due to its high vitamin C content. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory that reduces fever, swelling and pain.
Jamaican Sorrel is packed with vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and antioxidants that strengthen and provide support to the immune system. Commonly known as Hibiscus, Jamaican Sorrel is a member of the oxalis family. According to an article published in 2002 in Newsbrief, a publication of the Scientific Research Council public education unit, this variety of Sorrel can help prevent diseases such as cancer, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. Jamaican sorrel can be taken as a tea by adding the dried herb to one cup of boiling water. It should be left to steep for 5 minutes before straining and drinking immediately.
The homeopathic remedy Rumex Crispus is also known as yellow dock, which is a member of the Sorrel family. It is primarily used as a treatment for a dry, tickly cough. It is available as a homeopathic remedy from most health food stores for coughs that are caused by a tickle that that extends down the throat and is often made worse by talking or laughing. Rumex is a homeopathic remedy for treating whooping-cough and other bronchial type coughs. The remedy is especially useful for coughs that are made worse by inhaling cold air.
When used under the supervision of a trained herbalist or qualified homeopath, Sorrel is generally considered safe for use in all its different forms. However, it is not recommended for those who suffer from kidney disease, gout or arthritis as it may worsen the condition in some individuals.
Newsbrief; “Sorrel as a Nutraceutical – Health Benefits”; Scientific Research Council; Public Education Unit; April 2002
NYU Langone Medical Center: Sinusitis
Vanderbilt University: “Essiac, Tea of Life”; Samantha Kidwell
Kansas State University: Sheep Sorrel
The Herb Compainion: Herb to Know — Sorrel
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