Sorrel (aerial) (Rumex acetosa), often simply called sorrel, is a perennial herb in the family Polygonaceae. Other names for sorrel include spinach dock and narrow-leaved dock. It is a common plant in grassland habitats and is cultivated as a garden herb or salad vegetable (pot herb).
Used for cooking and as a medicinal supplement.
- Sorrel is used for reducing sudden and ongoing pain and swelling (inflammation) of the nasal passages and respiratory tract, for treating bacterial infections along with conventional medicines, and for increasing urine flow (as a diuretic). Sorrel is also an ingredient in the herbal cancer treatment Essiac.
- In combination with gentian root, European elder flower, verbena, and cowslip flower, sorrel is used orally for maintaining healthy sinuses and treating sinusitis.
Sorrel is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when consumed in food amounts or when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts as part of a combination product containing gentian root, European elder flower, verbena, and cowslip flower (SinuComp, Sinupret). The combination product can cause digestive system upset and occasionally allergic skin rash.
Sorrel is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts, since it might increase the risk of developing kidney stones. There is also a report of death after consuming a large amount (500 grams) of sorrel.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Children: Sorrel is POSSIBLY UNSAFE in children when taken by mouth in large amounts. Sorrel contains oxalic acid. There is concern because a four-year-old child died after eating rhubarb leaves, which also contain oxalic acid.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Sorrel is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts during pregnancy. Although unlikely, taking sorrel as part of a combination product (Sinupret) during pregnancy might increase the risk of birth defects. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking sorrel in medicinal amounts if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Kidney disease: Large amounts of sorrel might increase the risk of kidney stones. Don’t use sorrel without a healthcare professional’s advice if you have ever had kidney stones.
Acedera, Acedera Común, Azeda-Brava, Common Sorrel, Field Sorrel, Garden Sorrel, Oseille, Oseille Commune, Oseille des Champs, Petite Oseille, Petite Oseille des Brebis, Red Sorrel, Rumex acetosa, Rumex acetosella, Sheep’s Sorrel, Sorrel Dock, Sour Dock, Surette, Vignette, Vinette, Wiesensauerampfer