Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella), Diuretic, Antiseptic, Laxative

Sheep sorrel

Sheep sorrel is native to Eurasia but has spread to the northern hemisphere. It is common in fields, grasslands, and woodlands in North America. It thrives in floodplains and near marshes.

The sorrel plant has green arrowhead-shaped leaves and red-tinted stems. This perennial grows to three feet in height. The flower emerges from a tall, upright stem. Female flowers are maroon in color. The entire plant is used as an Essiac tea ingredient.

This plant was used traditionally as a diuretic, to treat fevers, inflammation and scurvy. It is considered the most active herb in Essiac for stimulating cellular regeneration, detoxification and cleansing.

Significant levels of phytoestrogens with estrogen receptor binding activity are present in this herb. It also contains several anthraquinones which are effective antioxidants and radical scavengers. Rumicin, a powerful antibacterial compound, is another component of this plant. Rumicin is used to treat Escherichia coli, Salmonella sp. and Staphylococcus infections.



The active ingredients in sheep sorrel, rutin, flavone glycosides, and hyperin are found in the dried aerial portion of the herb. Other, more familiar substances are vitamins C, A, B complex, D, E, K, P, and U, as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, silicon, iron, sulphur, copper iodine, manganese, and zinc.

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Disclaimer:The statements regarding essiac tea have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. We cannot claim essiac is a cure, prevents disease or has beneficial medicinal properties. The information on this Web site or in emails is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Consult your physician before starting any medical treatment.