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The healing power of fragrant sumac

  1. Fragrant sumac is a medicinal plant that originally only grows in North America. It often does not get very high, maximum about 60 centimeters to two meters. This shrub can stretch three meters wide. It grows in full sun and partial shade. Strikingly beautiful about this shrub is that in autumn its leaves turn yellow, orange, red and purple before falling off. The plant also attracts butterflies and bees. Fragrant sumac is a medicinal plant. In homeopathy it is mainly used as a remedy for diabetes and in phytotherapy it is mainly used as a herb that can combat bedwetting.


  1. Traditional use Naming Active substances Fragrant sumac when wetting the bed Dose and safety Growing fragrant sumac yourself Visit a doctor or herbalist

Traditional use

  1. If the berries of fragrant sumac are placed in warm or cold water for 10 minutes to 30 minutes, they will give flavor to the water and a natural lemonade is created. The fruit is just edible but should preferably not be brought to the boil because too many tannins are released during the cooking process. The fruit is dried and powdered and added to a porridge or cake. In the Netherlands you can find this dried fruit powder in shops under the name sour herb.


  1. In Latin, fragrant sumac is called Rhus aromatica. Aromatica means 'fragrant'. In English, this plant is called fragant sumac. The name sumac originally comes from Arabic and Arabic took it over from Syriac where it means 'red'. This refers to the red-colored berries of this plant. Rhus comes from the Ancient Greek word rhous which also means 'red', just think of the French word for red: rouge.

Active ingredients

  1. The bark of fragrant sumac is used for phytotherapeutic purposes. As active substances, it has essential oil and tannins or tannins.

Smelling sumac when wetting the bed

  1. The bark has proven to be an effective drug against bedwetting in folk medicine. However, no substance in the bark has ever been identified as responsible for curing this condition. Bedwetting is not a real disease. It's a functional neurotic disorder; it has to do with some form of stress. Only 5% of the bedwetting people are said to have an organic cause. Rhus aromatica or fragrant sumac is a soothing agent. It can cure bedwetting along with St. John's wort, passion flower and nightcap. There are other herbs that can cure bedwetting by having an anti-spasm effect, such as madder and deadly nightshade, which should only be used with a doctor's prescription.

Dose and Safety

  1. There are a number of ways to use this medicinal plant.

Grow fragrant sumac yourself

  1. He prefers a nutritious soil but can also grow in depleted soil. Fragrant sumac can survive temperatures of -25, so it is a plant that in principle can grow well in the Netherlands and Belgium, because it rarely gets that cold. Still, growth can be counteracted when frost occurs late in spring. If you want to use the berries, pay close attention to which type you take. There are 250 varieties and many varieties only produce poisonous berries.

Visit a doctor or herbalist

  1. Much of the information about the medicinal plant mentioned in this article comes from Geert Verhelst's book Great Handbook of Medicinal Plants. That is a handbook in phytotherapy. However, it is not suitable for self-healing. Anyone who is bothered by something should visit a doctor or phytotherapist for a proper diagnosis and choice of the best remedies, tailored to your personal situation. The knowledge and science mentioned here is of a purely informational nature.

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