What is Sorrel?
I don’t know if someone has ever told you about sorrel leaves before. But I’m pretty sure you would have heard that green leaves are packed full of essential nutrients and all the other healthy substances. But that is not just the reason I am writing about sorrel leaves. There is a lot more.
Sincerely, it is the taste. Nutrition and health benefits are common to all green leafy plants. But it is the definite and flavorful taste that distinguishes sorrel leaves apart. The mind-blowing advantages of sorrel leave too. If you desire to know more, just keep reading.
The plant is a perennial herb, which is also known as spinach dock, sheep sorrel, sour grabs, and grass because of its tart, bright, and sour taste. The herb is majorly confused with hibiscus and spinach. Sorrel has spade-shaped foliage and reddish-green flora that turn purple after full bloom, which often depletes their acidic nature. Its seeds are always brown.
There are a lot of varieties of sorrel that grow in various regions of the world, and while most of them have slightly different features and related health benefits, they are often the same. The common sorrel, which is the widely cultivated and used variety, is also known as spinach dock, sorrel, and narrow-leaved dock. It may be very easy to confuse it with Hibiscus sabdariffa ( roselle), known as Guinea sorrel or Jamaican sorrel. The former is used to make hibiscus tea or sorrel tea.
The entire plant itself has broad green leaves that encompass a majority of the surface area, but its roots are thrust deep into the ground. The purple and red flowers that annually bloom are among the best ways to identify sorrel.
Cultures around the globe have been growing and using this plant for centuries, in everything from salads and soups to vegetable side teas and dishes. The significantly high content of oxalic acid in this crop makes it poisonous if eaten in large quantities, so intake should be minimal. In smaller amounts, eating sorrel is harmless. This same oxalic acid is also responsible for the tangy and tart taste that is almost reminiscent of kiwi or wild strawberries. The leaves are an essential part of the plant and are consumed or used in several culinary preparations. Sheep’s sorrel is also a vital element in some tea preparations due to its remarkable antioxidant compounds, including even the well-known Essiac tea.
Other Names Sorrel Is Known By?
Acedera Común, Azeda-Brava, Acedera, Field Sorrel, Garden Sorrel, Common Sorrel, Oseille, Oseille Commune, Petite Oseille, Petite Oseille des Brebis, Sorrel Dock, Sour Dock, Red Sorrel, Rumex acetosa, Rumex acetosella, Sheep’s Sorrel, Vinette, Oseille des Champs, Surette, Wiesensauerampfer, and Vignette.
Remarkable Health Benefits of Sorrel
Fresh sorrel can serve as a healthy addition to any balanced dish and its low-carbohydrate. Folks on a gluten-free diet can securely consume sorrel, and some other folks who follow a low-carb eating regime such as keto may enjoy including sorrel in their diet.
Sorrel is a nutritional storehouse and provides remarkable amounts of vital micronutrients. It may also render certain health benefits, but always be sure to check with your health professional (doctor) first if you have an underlined medical condition.
Let us now go through the remarkable health benefits of this amazing tuber crop;
1) Improve Eyesight
Should you have been experiencing visual problems recently, it is the right time you include these leaves in your plan.
Sorrel leaves are filled with a good amount of vitamin A (retinol) that helps improve vision and eradicates night blindness.
2) Rich in Fiber
The remarkable amount of dietary fiber that can be found in almost all varieties of sorrel means that one’s digestive health can be enhanced by adding sorrel leaves to one’s soups and salads. Dietary fiber gives bulkiness to food as it moves through the digestive tract, thus improving one’s gastrointestinal health and lowering conditions like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and cramping, alongside other gastrointestinal complications. Soluble dietary fiber can also aid in lowering total cholesterol in the body, thereby shielding heart health and lowering the chances of heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and strokes.
3) Boosts Immunity
Sorrel is a wonderful source of retinol (vitamin A), a fat-soluble vitamin that aids in keeping your immune system functioning efficiently. You will also get a boost of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), a vital antioxidant that helps your body to eradicate infection.
4) Aids In Balancing Blood Pressure
Sorrel has a well-appreciable level of potassium (a cup contains about 15% of your required daily intake), which is a vital mineral for our health. Potassium is a good vasodilator as it is an aid in maintaining fluid balance throughout our body. This means that it lowers stress on the cardiovascular system by flexing the blood arteries and vessels. Reduced blood pressure lowers the chances of dangerous excessive strain on the heart and blood clotting that can lead to complications like coronary heart disease and many other complications. It can lower the dangers of hypertension and possibly stroke, as seen by a detailed preliminary research study conducted in a rat model.
5) Help in Weight Loss
Seeking a few pounds to fit into that sexy little black dinner dress for that date? Have you tried going for sorrel leaves?
Sorrel leaves are high in a lot of vitamins, proteins, minerals, and carbohydrates. They contain an insignificant amount of fat and are very low in calories. Therefore, these leaves are a brilliant option for health-conscious folks who want to shed weight.
6) Good Source of Iron
The significant amounts of iron in sorrel boost the erythrocytes (red blood cell) production and prevent anemia and (iron deficiency). Iron is imminent for red blood cells to convey oxygen from the lungs to the remaining parts of the body. The increased flow of oxygen throughout your body in the essential organs boosts hair growth, raised energy levels, and boosts the healing process (alongside the protein content of sorrel).
7) May Help Combat Cancer and Other Complications
Sheep’s sorrel is the primary stuff in Essiac tea, a sole blend of herbal tea that was believed to cure breast cancer and fight other diseases such as HIV/AIDS and diabetes. However, no strong evidence exists to back any claims about sorrel’s medicinal benefits. Therefore, most health professionals would not recommend its usage to help treat chronic diseases.
8) May Help Soothe Skin Conditions
The leaves of this plant (sorrel) have been utilized in two ways to pacify skin conditions. The leaves, when desiccated as an herb, can be consumed, and this has been linked with a decrease in ringworm and itchy, parched skin. When fresh leaves are milled up, the liquid extracted can then topically be applied to the infected regions to lower irritation and rashes. This is possibly due to ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and vitamin A (retinol) content in the leaves, alongside the other nutraceuticals embedded in this herb.
9) Detoxify Your Body
Sorrel has flavonoids and other essential antioxidants that make it a remarkable purgative and diuretic. This helps in wiping out harmful toxins from one’s body. Sorrel leaves have protocatechuic acid that aids in detoxifying the body. Sorrel-infused water and sorrel tea are mostly used for the detoxification of one’s body. It also soothes bloating.
10) Heart Health
Apart from some other heart-linked benefits, it is pertinent to remember that sorrel belongs to the family of oxalis, which has been deeply linked with boosting overall heart health. Again, this is possibly due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of anthocyanins and many other compounds packed in sorrel, which can lower oxidative stress, thus protecting the entire cardiovascular system (heart, veins, and arteries) and helping to lower chronic disease.
11) Reduce Cold Sores And Fever Blisters
Fever blisters and cold sores usually occur around the mouth, lips, and the skin around them is often sore and painful.
Sorrel leaves are high in polymeric and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (proven to aid in treating fever blisters and cold sores) and also flavonoids.
12) Treat Allergies
Sorrel does not seem to be a major allergen. While no common allergic reactions to sorrel exist, some folks may still react. Common symptoms of food allergy include vomiting, sneezing, hives, teary eyes, and trouble breathing.
Should you ever suspect that you have a sorrel allergy, try to consult your doctor for a thorough diagnosis and evaluation.
13) Helpful In Lowering Abnormal Milk Flow
Sorrel is regarded as safe for ladies as it helps combat breast cancer. But doctors advise against its intake during and after pregnancy. It can be due because sorrel has some deleterious side effects and may harm the embryo/fetus, and also due that sorrel lowers the production of breast milk. However, the effect becomes more useful at the time of weaning when the key objective is to lower and lessen milk flow.