(Hibiscus sabdariffa, Rumex acetosa)
Also known as Florida cranberry, French, guinea sorrel, karkade, Indian sorrel, Jamaican sorrel, jelly okra, lemon bush, Queensland jelly plant, red sorrel, red tea, roselle, rozelle, spinach dock, wild sorrel.
Sorrel is the collective name for a variety of perennial herbaceous plants related to bistort, buckwheat and rhubarb and they thrive in warm climates. Sorrel has been found to have powerful antibacterial properties against the Escherichia coli bacterium.
Sorrel leaves are a source of hyperoside, which is a flavonoid also present in other powerful natural remedies, such as coltsfoot and St John's Wort, for bronchitis and other respiratory disorders. Mallow flowers and leaves and plantain can be combined with sorrel to treat disorders of the respiratory system and relieve coughs.
Sorrel contains more beta-carotene than carrots and so can be a useful addition to the diet for eye health and should be consumed with a little oil as beta-carotene is fat soluble so cannot be absorbed without oil.
Sorrel contains the same components as cascara sagrada and senna making it a useful natural remedy for occasional constipation however, it should be used in moderation.
NOTE: Due to the high oxalate content, consumption of sorrel should be avoided by individuals who are prone to arthritis, bladder or kidney stones, gout, heartburn or rheumatism.
The whole plant, especially the roots, has effective antiseptic properties that can be used externally to treat acne, herpes sores, hives, ringworm and other skin infections and wounds.
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