Sorrel - a perennial plant of the family Polygonaceae.
In Latin it is called sorrel Rumex, which translates as "spear." In people, it is often called the meadow apple or wild beets.
The plant has a straight stem, sometimes rough and branching. Leaves petiolate, large size, and the flowers are collected in paniculate inflorescences. There are about two hundred species of sorrel, of which only a few species are considered medicinal and edible, and most of the present day are weedy plants. It grows the vegetable culture in all continents, except, perhaps, Antarctica.
History of cultivation of this plant dates back to several thousand years ago. The first mention about the healing properties of sorrel found in the works of Pliny the Elder and Virgil. Its medicinal properties in his treatise "The Canon of Medicine" and described Avicenna. He believed that a decoction of the leaves of sorrel reduces painful menstruation, infertility relieves and soothes menopause.
For the first time sorrel vegetable crops ranked as the French in the 12th century. To this day, this vegetable is considered to have a national, as well as carrots. In medieval Europe, people believed that sorrel protects against plague. So, in the old medical manual properties sorrel attributed assistance from the plague and fever heat, urine and blood purification, treatment of liver diseases.
In Russia, this vegetable has long treated as a weed, and mocked foreigners, eats the "green grass." Somewhat later, in ancient Rus' wild beets "were used as amulets and considered sacred and treated with the help of rheumatic diseases and tuberculosis.
Sorrel in cooking
Widespread sorrel got cooking. It is eaten fresh, pickled, dried or canned form, added to soups, salads, borscht, sauces. Often it is used as a filling for pies.
In the food suitable young sorrel leaves that are cut before the flowering shoots. Older leaves are not recommended for use, since they accumulate oxalic acid.
And in order to neutralize the small amount of oxalic acid in the leaves of the young plants in the dish with sorrel need to add milk or dairy products. Then oxalic acid reacts with the calcium and completely converted into harmless to the calcium salt.
The composition and caloric content of sorrel
100 contains 91 g sorrel, 3 g of water, 2, 4 g carbohydrates, 2, 3 g protein, 0, 8 g of fat, 0, 7 g of organic acids, 0, 4 grams of fat, 1, 7 g of ashes; vitamins: beta-carotene (A), thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), phylloquinone (K), ascorbic acid (C ), biotin (H), tocopherol (E); macronutrients chlorine, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium; trace elements fluorine, zinc, copper, manganese, iodine, and iron.
Calories from sorrel low and does not exceed 21 kcal per 100 g of product.
The sour taste of sorrel leaves contained in the attached potassium salt of oxalic acid. Also in the leaves contain mineral salts, tannins, flavonoids. And the roots of the plant contains about 27% tannins, rumitsin, hrizofanovaya acid hrizofanein, flavonoid glycoside and nepodin - nepozid.
Useful properties of sorrel
Sorrel is a medicinal plant vitamin. The main benefit of sorrel is to improve digestion, stop bleeding, establishing the work of the gallbladder and liver, the ability to heal wounds. It is believed that it is useful in cardiovascular diseases, anemia, itching and rashes on the skin, as well as an antiallergic agent.
The use of sorrel, in particular, its leaves and fruits, is analgesic and astringent. The leaves of the plant have a toxicity, wound healing, anti-inflammatory effect and antiscorbutic.
In folk medicine, is widely used powders and decoctions of the roots of sorrel, which is used for colitis, diarrhea, haemocolitis, enterocolitis. With a cold broth of sorrel is also very effective.
Praising this plant and praising to the skies sorrel therapeutic benefit, do not forget that on his application there are some contraindications. Thus, in particular, can not be used during pregnancy sorrel, gastritis with high acidity, inflammatory diseases of the kidney, stomach ulcer or duodenal ulcer.
Precautions should use sorrel in old age, as there is the risk of developing gout and osteoporosis.
In general, remember and apply one very wise rule: everything is fine in moderation.