If you’ve never heard of sorrel, there’s a good chance you’re not alone. Sorrel isn’t as popular as other nightshades. It’s an edible herb that comes from the same family as buckwheat and rhubarb. While some varieties of sorrel grow wild, others are cultivated as an herb or leaf vegetable. Sorrel can be added to soups, salads and sauces for its health benefits. Many sorrel health benefits stem from the Vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium it contains. Thanks to these nutrients, health benefits of sorrel include the ability fight sinus infections, soothe cancer sores, stabilize blood pressure and even help fight cancer.
Types of Sorrel
- Broad-leaf, Common or Garden Sorrel: The most readily available type of sorrel, a deep-rooted perennial with a sharp flavor and large, arrow-shaped leaves.
- French or Buckler-Leaf Sorrel: Cultivated, with a more mild flavor and smaller, more rounded leaves.
- Sheep’s Sorrel: Sour like common sorrel with smaller leaves, typically foraged instead of cultivated, grows wild in the United States.
- Red-Veined Sorrel: A variety with deep red veins running through the leaves, the least-tart type or sorrel.
Sorrel Health Benefits
1. Reduces Mucus
Sorrel health benefits include the ability to reduce mucus production. It has a natural drying effect on the body that can help provide relief from congestion. Sorrel contains tannins, also found in tea. Tannins have natural astringent properties that help fight the overproduction of mucus. Sorrel works as a natural remedy for congestion caused by the common cold, allergies or sinus infections.
2. Helps Fight Cancer
Thanks to the antioxidants it contains, sorrel health benefits include the ability to fight cancer. Sorrel contains high concentrations of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Both vitamins play an important role in strengthening the immune system. Sheep sorrel in particular is known among cancer-fighting foods. It’s one of the four ingredients in Essiac tea, an herbal cancer treatment. (1)
3. Improves Sinus Infections
Health benefits of sorrel include the ability to improve sinus infections. It’s packed with antioxidants that help fight inflammation and reduce pain linked to sinusitis. The Vitamin C content in sorrel helps strengthen the immune system to speed healing. Sorrel health benefits also include reduced swelling and pain relief. (2)
4. Soothes Canker Sores
Health benefits of sorrel include the ability to soothe painful canker sores. Fresh sorrel works as natural pain relief remedy. To help relieve canker sore pain, take a fresh sorrel lead and hold it against the canker sore for one minute. Repeat as needed to naturally speed healing and relieve pain.
5. Stabilizes Blood Pressure
Health benefits of sorrel include the ability to naturally stabilize blood pressure. Sorrel contains a healthy dose of potassium, which plays an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Potassium works as both an electrolyte and a vasodilator. It helps maintain fluid balance throughout the body. Health benefits of sorrel and other potassium-rich foods include the ability to naturally lower blood pressure levels and reduce stress on the heart. Potassium promotes heart health by relaxing the arteries and blood vessels, which results in lower blood pressure levels. By maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, sorrel can help decrease the risk of dangerous health conditions, including blood clots and coronary heart disease. (3)