19 Amazing Health Benefits Of Sorrel Leaves November 2, 2016

When you imagine vegetables, all kinds of colors comes to mind except green. More so the leafy vegetables. Anything green is associated as unappetizing at least by the kids and teenagers. Fortunately, with emphasis on healthy food on the rise, more people are opting for green veggies. And I am sure by the time you read this article, you would want to try leafy greens too.

Although you don’t prefer to have green veggies, you must have had it at some point or the other. Although they are flavorful, most green vegetables are bland by themselves. But today we introduce you to a leaf which is not only loaded with nutrients but also has a distinct sour taste. We are talking about Sorrel leaves. Sorrel leaf has a tangy lemony flavor that tastes better each time you have it. Sorrel leaves are commonly used both as fresh and dried herb in cooking and the preparation of hot and cold teas. But do you know the medicinal benefits of this herb? Here we go.

Sorrel- A Brief

Scientific Name-Rumex acetosa

Native-Europe and North Asia

Sorrel--A-Brief

Image: Shutterstock

Sorrel is a perennial herb, also known as sheep sorrel, spinach dock, sour grabs and grass because of its sharp, tart and sour taste (1). The herb is often confused with spinach and hibiscus. Sorrel have spade-shaped leaves, reddish-green flowers, which turn purple after full bloom hence denoting their acidic nature. Its seeds are brown in color. The sorrel leaves are known to be a sibling of spinach as they are somewhat arrow-headed just like that of the latter.

Remember the special Essiac tea? Sorrel leaf is an essential ingredient in this beverage.

Nutritional Information

  • Sorrel is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2 and B9.
  • It has high amounts of Vitamin C.
  • It contains Oxalic acid, which causes its sour taste.
  • Rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorous, sodium and iron.
  • Though it is rich in proteins and carbohydrates, it has a negligible quantity of fats.
  • Rich in flavonoids.

Now, let’s take a look at the different health benefits these green leaves have to offer!

Benefits of Sorrel Leaves

  1. Improves Eyesight
  2. Helps In Weight Loss
  3. Detoxifies Body
  4. Prevents Cancer And Tumor
  5. Lowers Blood Pressure Level
  6. Reduces Cold Sores And Fever Blisters
  7. Cures Skin Diseases
  8. Helpful In Reducing Milk Flow
  9. Prevents Scurvy
  10. Treats Insomnia And Hypertension
  11. Beneficial For Hair
  12. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
  13. Bone Health
  14. Treats Anemia
  15. Helpful In Treating Urinary Tract Infection, Gonorrhea And Hemorrhages
  16. Perfect For Our Digestive Health
  17. Gives The Body A Boost Of Energy
  18. Provides Immunity
  19. Provides Renal Health

Health Benefits Of Sorrel Leaves

Health-Benefits-Of-Sorrel-Leaves

Image: Shutterstock

1. Improves Eyesight

If you have been experiencing vision problems lately, time you add these leaves to your diet.

Why Does It Work

Sorrel leaves contain a good amount of Vitamin A (2), which helps in improving eyesight and eliminates night blindness (3).

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2. Helps In Weight Loss

Have you tried Sorrel Leaves for weight loss yet? Go for it and see the changes yourself.

Why Does It Work

Sorrel leaves are rich in many vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. But these leaves contain a negligible amount of fat and are low in calories. Therefore, sorrel leaves are a good option for health-conscious people who want to lose weight.

[ Read: Power Yoga Help In Weight Loss ]

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3. Detoxifies Body

Sorrel contains flavonoids and other antioxidants, which lead to its diuretic and purgative effect. This helps in flushing out harmful toxins from the body. Sorrel leaves contain protocatechuic acid. This also aids in body detox. Sorrel tea and sorrel-infused water are often used for detoxification of the body. It also relieves bloating (4).

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4. Prevents Cancer And Tumor

Did you know Sorrel leaves are even used in herbal cancer treatment?

Why Does It Work

The oxalic acid present in the fresh sorrel leaves acts as a preventive measure for cancers and tumors. But limit your intake. Consumption above moderation can be harmful (5). Sorrel leaves contain chlorophyll and carotenoids along with many vitamins and minerals, which help in fighting, preventing and treating breast cancer too (6).

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5. Lowers Blood Pressure Level

In today’s day and age, we see a lot of people falling victim to hypertension due to stress. Sorrel leaves also keep blood pressure under control.

Why Does It Work

Sorrel leaves are rich in antioxidants, which help in lowering the bad cholesterol levels as well as triglyceride levels in the body. This results in lower blood pressure levels (7).

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6. Reduces Cold Sores And Fever Blisters

It’s not easy to get rid of ugly blisters on our face after fever. Sorrel leaves can shoo them away quickly.

Why Does It Work

Sorrel leaf is also rich in flavonoids, oligomeric and polymeric proanthocyanidins, which have proven to be helpful in treating cold sores and fever blisters.

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7. Cures Skin Diseases

7.-Cures-Skin-Diseases

Image: Shutterstock

Sorrel leaves are like an elixir for our skin, fighting all types of skin diseases like eczema and several others.

Why Does It Work

Sorrel is rich in Vitamin C. In fact, a bowl of sorrel soup can provide up to 53% of the daily intake of Vitamin C, which helps in the treatment of many skin problems and diseases (8). Dried sorrel leaves are used to treat itching and ringworms. Sorrel leaves, used as a face pack, prevents wrinkles and tightens the skin. They also have anti-microbial and anti-allergic properties.

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8. Helpful In Reducing Milk Flow

Sorrel is considered safe for women as it helps prevent breast cancer. But doctors advise against the consumption of sorrel during pregnancy and after. It can be because sorrel does have some side effects and can harm the baby, and also because sorrel reduces the production of breast milk. But this same effect becomes useful at the time of weaning when the aim is to reduce and lessen the flow of milk.

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9. Prevents Scurvy

This green and leafy saves you from the wrath of scurvy.

Why Does It Work

Scurvy is a disease caused by the deficiency of Vitamin C, and Sorrel being rich in Vitamin C prevents and cures this painful illness (9).

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10. Treats Insomnia And Hypertension

Hypertension can lead to sleepless nights. And you know how important it is to have a sounds sleep. If you are sleep deprived and trying hard to get your beauty sleep, here’s help. Drink a glass of sorrel tea or add a few herbs to your salad. Believe me, it works!

Why Does It Work

Sorrel leaves are used for treating insomnia and hypertension (10). They also prevent premature aging. Sorrel tea is prepared with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger for this purpose. Another remedy is heating the sorrel leaves with castor oil and consuming it.

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11. Beneficial For Hair

Sorrel leaves are a perfect tonic for your mane. It keeps your hair healthy, strong and lustrous. What more do you want?

Why Does It Work

Sorrel is rich in Vitamin A, B, and C. All these vitamins are amazing for dry and damaged hair. They also prevent and stop hair fall. Baldness too can be treated with these leaves.

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12. Anti-inflammatory Properties

The anti-inflammatory properties of sorrel leaves come in handy when you want to treat any wounds.

Why Does It Work

Sorrel leaves effectively treat ulcers, boils, swelling and scorbutic diseases. They can be used as an antidote for scorpion poison too (11)!

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13. Bone Health

We know that these leaves are calcium rich so why not strengthen our bones by including them in our diet?

Why Does It Work

Sorrel leaves are rich in calcium, which helps in strengthening the bones. It is especially beneficial for women as their bones become weak once they reach their 30s.

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14. Treats Anemia

14.-Treats-Anemia

Image: Shutterstock

Due to lack of nutrition, most women turn anemic due to heavy bleeding during periods or post pregnancy. Sorrel leaves can actually up the hemoglobin content in your blood.

Why Does It Work

Sorrel is a good source of iron, sodium and phosphorous and also contains chlorophyll. It helps in increasing the hemoglobin level in the body and is beneficial for people with anemia.

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15. Helpful In Treating Urinary Tract Infection, Gonorrhea And Hemorrhages

Sorrel leaves work wonderfully in getting rid of various conditions like Urinary Tract Infection, Gonorrhea And Hemorrhages, thus making your body fit and fine.

Why Does It Work

The diuretic properties of sorrel help in the treatment of UTI (12).

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16. Perfect For Our Digestive Health

You can improve your digestive health by adding the wonder leaf sorrel to your drinks, soups and salads, thus putting an end to various conditions like constipation, bloating, diarrhea and many other gastrointestinal disorders.

Why Does It Work

Sorrel leaves are full of dietary fiber that add bulk to the food we take, making it pass correctly through the system. It also helps in the reduction of total cholesterol level in the body (13).

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17. Gives The Body A Boost Of Energy

Feeling tired after a long day at work? Consumption of sorrel can help you revive your lost energy levels.

Why Does It Work

Sorrel is high in iron thus boosting the production of RBC and its circulation in the body. This, along with the increase in oxygen supply in the body helps push up energy levels high in the body (14).

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18. Provides Immunity

Sorrel leaves consumption can protect your body from toxins and harmful elements.

Why Does It Work

The rich vitamin C content in sorrel helps in optimize and strengthen your immunity. The ascorbic acid also brings up the WBC count and antibodies, thus protecting the body from foreign invasion (15).

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19. Provides Renal Health

19.-Provides-Renal-Health

Image: Shutterstock

Sorrel leaves are perfect for your kidney. Now you know why you must put it on your must-buy list.

Why Does It Work

Again, the diuretic properties of sorrel help maintain kidney health. It stimulates the flow of urine thereby assuring proper cleaning up of the kidneys, flushing out toxins and excess water.

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How To Use Sorrel Leaves

Assuming you are convinced about Sorrel benefits and wanting to try a few recipes with this ingredient, here we go.

Sorrel is most commonly used to prepare sauces and soups. Sorrel soup is a famous dish made with eggs, chicken stock and cream. Its pureed sauce is served with fish. Young, fresh sorrel leaves are also mixed in salads because of its lemon-like taste. In Jamaica, sorrel leaves and flowers are used to make tea, which is served both hot and chilled. It is also mixed with buttermilk or used to prepare smoothies and juices.

Let’s take a look at a few recipes now!

1. Sorrel Leaves Tea

Let’s begin with the humble tea.

What You Need
  • A handful of sorrel leaves
  • cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • Hot water- 1 cup
  • sweetener of your choice (sugar syrup or honey)
How To Make

Start the process by transferring boiled water to a pitcher. Adding dried sorrel leaves and spices to that. Strain the mixed water after five minutes and put in a cup. Add sweetener. Your hot tea is ready to be served.

Note: You can make iced sorrel tea too. For that, you will have to keep the spices and sorrel overnight in the fridge.

2. Sorrel Leaf Drink-Caribbean Style

Why not give your boring drink a Caribbean twist?

What You Need
  • 2 cups dried sorrel leaves
  • one tbsp white rice (uncooked)
  • one tbsp orange juice
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Eight allspice berries
  • 6 cloves
  • one tsp grated ginger
  • 1 cup sugar
How To Make

Add sugar, spices, juice, rice, ginger and four cups of water in a saucepan and let it boil. Remove from the heat and add the dried sorrels. Cover the mix and let it set for a day. Now, pour the mix over a strainer and refrigerate. Serve chilled.

3. Sorrel Soup

3.-Sorrel-Soup

Image: Shutterstock

Sorrel makes an excellent ingredient for soups. Here’s how.

What You Need
  • 3 cups Sorrel leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 chopped sweet onion
  • 5 to 6 small potatoes (cut into chunks)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (your choice)
  • One lightly beaten egg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnishing with ingredient of your choice (coriander, yogurt or cucumber slices)
How To Make

Cut the sorrel leaves in ribbons, and place them aside. Heat the butter over a medium flame in a large saucepan. Add onions and cook until they turn brown. Add sorrel, potatoes, and broth into the pan till it covers the potatoes. Bring the mix to a boil and lower the heat and cook till the potatoes get soft and well cooked. This will take you another 15 minutes. Now, transfer half of the content into a food blender and turn them into a smooth puree. Repeat the process until all the content gets pureed. Transfer it back into the pan and whisk the eggs with a portion of the soup. Add the egg to the pan and cook till the mix thickens. Your soup is ready. Just add salt and pepper, and garnish with ingredient of your choice.

Other than these recipes, you can even use dried or full sorrel leaves in a variety of dishes. Here a few interesting ones

  • Sorrel sauce works well with fishes
  • whisk it up with omelet mix
  • Use it as a stuffing for meat
  • Can be used in mashed potatoes
  • Use with hummus and pasta
  • Make it into pesto and use over pizzas

A Word Of Caution

Like all other herbs, sorrel leaves too can have some adverse effects.

  • Sorrel contains a right amount of oxalic acid, which decreases the body’s ability to absorb calcium, allowing the formation of kidney stones. Sorrel leaves that have passed their tender age have a higher amount of oxalic acid. So it is better to use tender ones.
  • Because of the presence of oxalic acid, sorrel must not be cooked in aluminum or iron cookware as the acid reaction with the metal makes it toxic and inedible.
  • Consuming high amounts of sorrel can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and even lead to liver diseases.
  • People suffering from skin diseases or asthma should avoid sorrel.

The hardcore carnivore may still be hesitant to eat ‘leaves,’ but the fact remains that these herbs are an excellent way to stay healthy, naturally. Come on, give them a try!

Do you use herbs of any kind for health reasons? Have you faced any adverse reaction? Share with us in the comments section below; we love to hear from you all.

Till then, take care!

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The one with a constant energy that can leave you awed, Tanya can jump around and talk for the whole day. If not found writing away the desired articles, she can easily be spotted glued to the youtube, eyes wide, spazzing over the perfection of her favorite singer. Functioning without music (Bollywood, Hollywood, Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and what not- Because music is music), and a big cup of tea is an impossibility for her. Ever heard of a totally weird soul that could go frenzy over the smell of a book, especially if it's a Dan Brown or Lee Child? Yep! That would be her.