Have you ever seen sorrel before? Have you ever even heard of it, or is this your first time seeing the term? Sorrel is actually a captivating perennial herb used all over the world. It is oozing with essential nutrients, all of which contribute to its amazing health benefits. These benefits include improved kidney health, strengthened heart health, protection against diabetes, increased appetite, lowered blood pressure, prevention of cancer, increased energy, boosted circulation and strengthened bones. There is more to sorrel than meets the eye. If you want to learn more, give this article a read.
Sorrel: What is It?
Sorrel is an enthralling perennial herb, valued and cultivated worldwide for its wide range of uses. Different variations of sorrel are grown in different regions around the world. While they have diverse characteristics and health benefits, they are still very similar. It is mainly grown as a food, owing to its tangy, sharp taste, but it has a wide range of health benefits as well. There are some variations of sorrel, which grow in various regions worldwide.
The most commonly used and cultivated type of sorrel is scientifically known as Rumex acetosa. It can simply be referred to as sorrel, or it can be called narrow-leaved dock and spinach dock. The plant has wide green leaves covering most of the surface area, but its roots may stretch deep into the ground. The purple and red flowers which bloom from the plant are one of its most distinguishing features.
Many cultures worldwide have been growing and using sorrel for many centuries now. They use it in nearly everything, from salads and soups to teas and vegetable-based side dishes. Sorrel’s high levels of oxalic acid makes it mildly toxic, so it’s important to limit your intake. In small amounts, though, it is entirely harmless. In fact, the oxalic acid is what’s responsible for its tangy and tart taste, which is almost resonant of kiwi or strawberries.
Sorrel leaves are the main part used in culinary preparation. They are also a major component in many teas, such as Essiac tea, due to their strong antioxidant compounds.
Nutritional Facts of Sorrel
Apart from adding a distinct flavor to the dishes, sorrel may also provide a significant level of fiber, a small number of calories, almost zero fat, as well as a small level of protein. When it comes to its vitamins content, it is actually rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and even vitamin C. On the other hand, when it comes to its valuable organic compounds, it has polyphenolic acids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids.
Health Benefits of Sorrel
Here are some of the most fascinating health benefits of sorrel:
- Improves kidney function Sorrel has a diuretic effect, which is essential in stimulating urination. This is beneficial in cleaning out the kidneys and removing extra salts, water, toxins and fats.
- Aids in heart health Due to the fact that it is part of the oxalis family, it is essential in boosting overall heart health. This is mainly because of the anthocyanins and organic compounds in sorrel.
- Treats skin illnesses. Sorrel leaves are essential in treating various skin issues. For instance, the dried leaves can help treat dry, itchy skin. This is one of the best health benefits of sorrel.
- Boosts the immune system. The vitamin C that sorrel contains is essential in boosting immunity. Not only that, it also helps stimulate the production of white blood cells in our body.
- Boosts energy and circulation. The iron in sorrel is essential in boosting the production of red blood cells in the body and preventing anemia. The increase in oxygen levels also helps increase the level of energy in the body.
- Helps prevent cancer. The antioxidant properties of sorrel are essential in getting rid of free radicals in the body. Sorrel’s antioxidant properties help neutralize the effects of free radicals before causing any harm to the health.
Probable Side Effects of Sorrel
The oxalic acid in sorrel is actually a toxin, so you must consume it in moderation. Oxalic acid may also contribute to the onset of kidney stones, so if you are already concerned about that, avoid foods rich in the acid. When you cook sorrel, don’t use cast iron or aluminium cookware. The metal may interact with the oxalic acid and cause the herb to take on a nasty metallic taste.