Sorrel is a perennial plant that has a short branched root and stems up to a meter high. The first sorrel sprouts appear immediately after the snow has melted, and the first leaves appear already in late May. They look like arrows, grow alternately and are very juicy and sour in taste. Sorrel flowers are green, brownish in color, collected in a small broom. The plant tolerates frosts very well, but does not like drought, since the stems and leaves need enough moisture. It grows in the same place for up to 4 years, it is artificially grown usually on carefully cultivated and fertile soils.
For the first time this amazing plant was mentioned in the 12th century in France, where it was very early evaluated the beneficial properties of sorrel and the piquant taste. Our compatriots treated sorrel for a very long time as a weed and did not even think about its taste and healing possibilities, so they began to grow only in the last few centuries.
Sorrel is so diverse and widespread that there are more than 300 varieties of this plant, but only a few of them can be eaten or used as a medicine. All the rest are just weeds, unsuitable for food or treatment.
During harvest, 4-5 leaves are cut every two weeks. The last crop is harvested in mid-July, and then stopped, since later leaves become coarse and contain too much acid, which does not very well affect human health.
Sorrel mainly uses young leaves, which contain a lot of malic and citric acid. Older leaves can be used, but only after proper preparation: when boiling them, it is necessary to add chalk to the water, which will help to remove the harmful oxalic acid contained in them in high concentration.
It is most widely used for cooking, most often in fresh form, but sorrel can be pickled or eaten in dried form. It is added to many dishes, most often to main dishes or salads, but sometimes it is used as a filling for a pie.
How to choose a sorrel
If you want to buy sorrel, go to the market - there are more chances to find fresh plants. Give preference to young leaves, because they contain less oxalic acid, an excess of which can damage health. Young leaflets are easy to identify - they have a bright green color and small size. Choose intact leaves, without spots and with a uniform color - this indicates the health of the plant. After you bring the leaves home, dip them in cold water for 10-15 minutes - this will help remove insects that could remain on the plant.
How to store sorrel
The easiest way to store the sorrel for several days is to dip it in cold water immediately after purchase. In this form, it can be left up to 3 days, you can put the container in the refrigerator.
If you plan to keep sorrel for longer, put it in a kitchen vacuum container and send it to the freezer. When you need to use frozen sorrel in dishes, add it in this form, because after defrosting, the structure of the plant is destroyed, and it becomes like gruel.
You can dry sorrel leaves in the oven or in the fresh air (but not in direct sunlight). In this form, you can store them for up to a year in a dark place.
Sorrel is amenable to preservation - it is enough to lay the chopped leaves tightly in jars, pour them with water (you can with 1 tsp salt per 500 ml of water) and close.
One of the main values of the sorrel is that it begins to give the first leaves in the early spring, when there are no fresh vegetables or fruits. It contains a wide range of vitamins and acids, as well as fiber. It is rightly considered a good source of potassium at a time when there are no other fresh vegetables. In addition, the plant is able to actively fight bacteria, so it is used to treat and prevent various diseases.
The leaves of this plant can stimulate digestion, so they are often recommended for use by those who have problems with the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, they have some analgesic effect, stimulate wound healing and can even fight inflammation. In Europe, sorrel has often been used to prevent scurvy and to remove toxins from the body. A decoction of the leaves is used as a choleretic; it is able to improve the liver and stimulate the outflow of bile during its stagnation.
In addition, sorrel helps fight allergies, and also helps reduce skin itching (including allergies and irritations) and helps treat acne. He is considered a great way to treat various manifestations of menopause. Even Avicenna believed that if you regularly eat the leaves of this plant, menopause is much easier.
No less useful are the roots of sorrel, which are used as infusions and decoctions. They help those who suffer from diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract. They improve the condition of the patient with bleeding in the lungs or in the uterus, they are used even in the treatment of such intimate problems as hemorrhoids or anal fissures. As lotions, this infusion is used for diseases and skin lesions, scratches and burns.
Sorrel improves bowel function, can help the body with poisoning, and before it was even actively used to remove poisons from the body. Now it is used for maintenance treatment of tuberculosis (in traditional medicine), as well as for those suffering from rheumatism. Sorrel juice will help fight headaches, as well as cleanse the blood. A decoction of the roots is used to treat sore throat, cough or runny nose.
|Calorie content||21 kcal|
|Organic acids||0.7 g|
|Vitamin A||2.5 mcg|
|Vitamin B1||0.06 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.16 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (PP)||0.5 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.25 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin B9||35 mcg|
|Vitamin C||47 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.9 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.6 mg|
|Vitamin H||0.6 mcg|
Recipes for medicinal decoctions and infusions of sorrel
Often, medical sorrel is credited with the ability to fight tumors, but this action has not been proven. In any case, if you have no contraindications for the use of sorrel, it will be useful as a support to the body and saturation with vitamins. The healing properties of horse sorrel, a decoction of its leaves, stems and roots are used for many diseases.
With rheumatism and back pain
Take 1 tbsp. sorrel roots, add 300 ml of water and boil the mixture for 10-15 minutes. It is advisable to do this in a thermos or wrap the dishes with the infusion with a warm cloth and leave for 2 hours. After well strain and take 2 tbsp. 3 times a day, you can add a little honey to improve the taste.
For inflammation of the bladder
Well help with cystitis baths with the addition of a sorrel broth. To prepare it, take 250 g of sorrel, add half a liter of water and boil the mixture for 10-15 minutes. Then add this broth to a bath with a low temperature of water (about 36 degrees, natural for the body) and take a bath for 10 minutes.
For the treatment of a tumor in the uterus
You need to take 1 tbsp. roots, pour 500 ml of boiling water into them, simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, and then insist for 4 hours, preferably in a thermos or wrapping the dishes with a towel or blanket. Then the infusion should be filtered and used for douching. For a pronounced result, it is recommended that at least 10 such procedures be performed. Given that in this case it is used only for douching, there are no specific contraindications for such treatment.
You need to take the leaves (you can soft fresh stems), lower them for several seconds in boiling water, and then thoroughly knead with a mortar. It is necessary to squeeze the juice out of this mixture by passing through several layers of gauze or dense tissue. This juice needs to be boiled for several minutes, allowed to cool and take 1 tablespoon. 3 times a day directly with meals. You can store this juice in the refrigerator if you have a lot of it.
To help the body with menstruation
Modern doctors recommend drinking a decoction from the leaves a week before menstruation - then it will pass without pain or excessive nervous tension. In order to make such a decoction, you need to take 250 ml of boiling water, pour them 1 tbsp. leaves and insist in warmth for an hour, then strain thoroughly and drink each time before eating for 30 minutes. You need to drink it every day for a week before menstruation.
To fight infertility and support the liver
Sorrel is considered equally useful for the fight against infertility. You need to take a tablespoon of leaves, pour 250 ml of boiling water, then boil the resulting mixture for a minute and let it brew. Wait until it cools naturally and drink 3 times a day 30 minutes before meals. The effect will be more pronounced if you add mummy to this infusion. Exactly the same decoction is recommended to improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, stimulate the outflow of bile and prevent liver problems.
Sorrel roots help people suffering from diarrhea. You need to take 2 tbsp. raw materials, add a glass of water and warm well in a water bath for about half an hour. Then wait until the mixture cools naturally, strain thoroughly and add water to return to its original volume. This broth should be drunk 2 tbsp. every half an hour before meals.
Sorrel in cosmetology
Most often in cosmetology use juice obtained from sorrel leaves. The easiest way is to make yourself a lotion and just wipe the skin. To do this, crush the leaves, squeeze the resulting juice and use it regularly instead of cosmetic lotions. This will help reduce inflammation, remove acne, moisturize the skin and brighten the face, including freckles and age spots.
To help oily skin
Grind some fresh leaves to make about 2 tablespoons. raw materials. Add in them egg white (you can from a quail egg) and a little lemon juice. Adjust the amount of lemon juice depending on your skin - if it is very sensitive, half a teaspoon is enough. If you need a pronounced whitening effect, you can add 2 teaspoons. Apply the resulting mask to clean skin and leave for 20 minutes. Then you can just wash it off, but it is better to carefully remove it with cotton wool soaked in weak green tea. This will help improve skin color and reduce pores.
For skin whitening
Squeeze the juice from the sorrel, as well as the juice from the dandelion, and mix 1: 1. With this mixture you need to wipe the skin 3-5 times a day, and it is advisable to make a portion of the product fresh every day.
Mask for dry skin
If you need to saturate the skin with vitamins, carefully mash the fresh leaves of sorrel, pour in them 1 tsp. olive oil and a little sour cream until the mixture becomes convenient for application to the skin. The mask should be kept for 15-20 minutes, then rinse carefully with water.
Hazardous properties of sorrel
This plant is recommended to be taken in strictly dosed quantities and not get carried away by adding it to dishes, as it contains a high concentration of acid, which can cause problems with kidney functions, and even overdose if it disrupts mineral metabolism.
In addition, with regular use, sorrel can stimulate the formation of kidney stones. To avoid this effect, it is necessary to combine its use with dairy products that contain a lot of calcium.
The use of sorrel is contraindicated for pregnant women, patients with inflammation of the kidneys, stomach ulcers or intestines. When used regularly in excessive amounts, sorrel interferes with the normal absorption of calcium, which can cause some problems with teeth and bones.