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The healing power of sorrel

  1. Common sorrel is a wild vegetable and medicinal plant. In our hurried modern society, most people have forgotten that vegetables are originally picked in the field. In order not to have to look too far, people pulled the vegetables root and all from the ground and then grew it around the house. Common sorrel is a delicious vegetable, free and biodynamic. So what more could you want? Sorrel is a vegetable that has been cultivated for a long time, not only for its nutritional value but also for its medicinal properties. In earlier times it was mainly eaten with spinach. The combination with Swiss chard is also very tasty. There are many types of sorrel; besides common sorrel, blood sorrel is not to be despised.


  1. Traditional use Naming Active substances Bleeding gums Common sorrel with a spring cure Sauerkraut in the kitchen Dose and safety Visit a doctor or herbalist

Traditional use

  1. Common sorrel is traditionally used in a purifying spring treatment. It is also a folk medicine for diarrhea, fever and skin rashes. It strengthens the stomach. Sorrel was a popular vegetable in ancient Greece, ancient Egypt and the ancient Romans. One of the most common uses was to take sorrel on a long sea voyage. It prevented people getting scurvy; sorrel contains a large amount of vitamin C.


  1. In Latin sorrel is called Rumex acetosa. In Dutch we know the alternative nicknames sorrel and sorrel. Zurkel is said mainly in Flanders. Acetosa means 'acid'. Rumex means 'pointed' and that refers to the shape of the leaves, which have a clear point.

Active ingredients

  1. Sorrel is used as an above-ground herb for phytotherapeutic purposes. It contains the following active substances: potassium oxalate, oxalic acid, tannins, vitamins such as C, B complex, E and K, flavonoids in the form of quercitrin, hyperoside and vitexin, anthraquinone derivatives including emodine, aloe emodine, chrysophanol, rhein and physicion.]

Bleeding gums

  1. Sorrel is generous when it comes to the amounts of vitamin C and flavonoids. As a result, it is used to improve the functioning of the immune system. In addition, the blood vessels, as well as the small capillaries, are strengthened. This makes it a good remedy for bleeding gums.

Common sorrel with a spring cure

  1. Sorrel, sorrel or sorrel / Source: Hajotthu, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Sauerkraut in the kitchen

  1. Mari Maris published a wonderful book in 2013 in which 66 vegetables are described. The title of the book is 'De Groentebijbel' and the subtitle: 'Van Potato Puree to Zuringsouflé'. Most of the treated vegetables are not for sale in a typical supermarket, but are available at organic markets and sometimes even only available in the wild or from your own vegetable garden. Mari Maris prepares the vegetables simply but masterfully delicious. Her book is a must for every vegetable lover. One of her mottos is: never cook vegetarian, cook well with no meat or fish. This woman, who is highly regarded as a cook by many chefs, writes in her book a delicious basic recipe for sorrel. You can just smother it in a pan with a knob of butter. You can season it with salt and pepper. This is a delicious basic dish that you can supplement with things like crème fraîche, shaved almonds, boiled potatoes and garlic.

Dose and Safety

  1. Never take more than 40 grams of sorrel per day. Common sorrel is good to use occasionally; not daily. Sorrel should not be used for kidney and gallstones and rheumatic complaints. Do not eat sorrel during pregnancy.

Visit a doctor or herbalist

  1. Much of the information about the medicinal plant referred to 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.

  2. Much of the information about the medicinal plant mentioned in this article comes from the book Groot Handboek Geneesk

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