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Sorrel can have both beneficial and undesirable effects on the body. It is important to know in what cases it is beneficial, why it is useful to use it, and when it is better to limit or completely abandon this leafy vegetable.
From this article you will learn about the beneficial properties of sorrel and how much it can be consumed without harm to health. We will also tell you about all the contraindications to its use and advise how to properly prepare sorrel so that it retains useful substances.
What are the benefits of a plant for human health?
Despite its simplicity, wide distribution and undemanding conditions, sorrel is considered a high quality vitamin product. Modern science explains its exceptional healing properties by its rich chemical composition and high concentration of biologically active substances.
Official medicine does not deny the benefits of the plant... But common sorrel found practical application in traditional pharmaceuticals only in one drug that treats the paranasal sinuses. But in folk medicine, the plant is considered medicinal and is actively used among our compatriots and in the countries of the Middle and Far East.
It is widely used in the fight against vitamin deficiency, being a proven supplier of the first spring vitamins. This indisputable fact is followed by a long list of useful for humans and even curative, according to traditional healers, properties of common sorrel. It turns out that this is the most ordinary-looking plant:
- has a low calorie content;
- improves appetite;
- has antipyretic and expectorant effects;
- has a beneficial effect on the work of the gastrointestinal tract;
- stimulates the activity of the liver and the formation of bile, is a choleretic agent, affects the work of the pancreas;
- has astringent and laxative properties (depending on the amount taken);
- helps to cleanse the blood and the body as a whole;
- being an antiseptic, it actively fights bacteria, has an anesthetic effect;
- resists various toxins;
- activates the processes of hematopoiesis;
- has antioxidant properties.
Is it an allergen?
In rare cases, there may be food allergies... The reasons for such a reaction may be individual intolerance or excessive consumption of the plant in food, leading to an excess of oxalic acid and a violation of the salt balance in the body.
Diuretic or not?
Possessing pronounced diuretic properties, the plant prevents edema and improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system as a whole.
However, excess oxalic acid can have negative health effects by causing salt to accumulate in the genitourinary system.
Does it thicken or thin the blood?
Thanks to the acids included in its composition, perennial belongs to the group of acidic products that thicken the blood. It is believed that when consumed within reasonable limits, it rather contributes to the normalization of blood, achieving the proper consistency, not too thickening or thinning it.
Is it loose or strong?
Sorrel has a noticeable effect on the digestive process... And it's not about the cooking method, but about the amount of greens eaten. A direct relationship has been noticed: a small amount helps to fix the stool, a large amount has a laxative effect.
Usefulness for men
A positive effect on men's health has been noticed, which is especially important for men of mature age. The use of the product has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the genitourinary system in general and the prostate gland in particular. It is noted:
- improved blood supply;
- prevention and elimination of stagnation of secretions in the prostate;
- prevention of infectious and inflammatory processes.
Drinking fresh juice inside is recommended for infertility, juice in combination with honey - to maintain potency. External application of a "cocktail" of sorrel and aloe juices will stop hair loss.
Therapeutic effect on women
A green healer will bring invaluable benefits to a young female body during menstruation and in the first days after it ends. It will help restore blood loss, providing a stimulating effect on the processes of hematopoiesis.
For mature women, the wonderful properties of the plant will help ease the unpleasant symptoms of menopause and menopause.:
- pressure surges;
- excessive sweating;
- mood swings.
Influence on the body of children
High nutritional value and rich vitamin complex make it attractive for a children's menu. Despite this, it is possible to introduce a plant product into a children's diet only from the age of 3, carefully monitoring the reaction of the body.
It is advised to offer children dishes from young leaves, which is explained by the predominance of malic and citric acids, while the amount of oxalic in them is minimal.
Is it used for weight loss?
Its low calorie content, combined with its ability to satisfy hunger, make this leafy vegetable one of the ideal foods for weight loss. In the absence of contraindications, it is recommended to include sorrel in dietary menus. for those who want to lose weight.
Its use will not only speed up metabolism, improve digestion processes, have a mild laxative effect (the main thing is not to overdo it), but also saturate the body with the necessary substances.
The acids contained in the plant affect the absorption of foodby accelerating its breakdown, they lower the level of glucose in the blood. These beneficial qualities make sorrel attractive to people with type 2 diabetes, who are overweight and even obese.
To determine the possible amount of food in the diet, it is important to discuss the issue with your doctor and carefully monitor the body's reactions to dishes containing these herbs.
In folk medicine, the root is considered a valuable medicinal raw material., it contains a lot of iron and more active substances than other parts of the plant. It is used primarily for digestive problems. Depending on the concentration, the following can be used:
- as a laxative for constipation;
- as an astringent - with loose stools (up to the treatment of dysentery).
- Properly prepared drugs heal from:
- allergic reactions;
- certain types of poisoning.
- Root decoctions effectively treat:
- disorders of the gastrointestinal tract;
- hemorrhoids and cracks in the anus;
- hemo- and enterocolitis;
- have a choleretic effect in violation of the liver and gallbladder.
- The high iron content has a beneficial effect on the treatment of diseases of the circulatory system.
- Decoctions of leaves and roots are used to treat colds.
- Infusions on fresh raw materials are used for back pain, rheumatism.
- External use of root-based preparations promotes healing of wounds, burns, stomatitis.
The chemical composition of sorrel is rich and varied, with a high content:
- vitamins (mostly groups A, B9, C, E, K);
- macronutrients (potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine);
- trace elements (iron, iodine, fluorine);
- proteins and carbohydrates.
Contains tannins, carotene, resins, lipids and organic acids.
Fresh and raw, boiled, frozen and dried
It is recommended to eat sorrel in a certain period - before flowering., while malic and citric acids predominate in young leaves. Later, oxalic acid accumulates in them, often having a negative effect on various human organs.
To enjoy a pleasant and healthy product, regardless of the season, various types of sorrel harvesting are used. It is obvious that different methods have different effects on the preservation of nutrients in plants. When properly processed, this leafy vegetable retains most of its vitamins, minerals and organic acids.
Boiling is not the best way to preserve the benefits of the plant., some of the vitamins and other components are simply destroyed during heat treatment. If such exposure is necessary, the cooking time should be minimal.
The fastest, simplest and most gentle ways of harvesting sorrel are drying and freezing. In these cases, the maximum amount of nutrients is retained in sorrel, and the taste is almost the same as fresh. True, essential oils evaporate during drying. The advantages of freezing include a long storage time for greens.
Indications for use
This plant is believed to have a broad spectrum of activity. It is applied externally:
- to stop bleeding, heal wounds, burns and trophic ulcers;
- treating diseases of the oral cavity (eg stomatitis), serious skin conditions (eg eczema), treating acne, irritated skin;
- for gargling with sore throat.
When consumed fresh, the contained set of vitamins and minerals contributes to the treatment of vitamin deficiency, scurvy, colds, viral infections.
- useful in disorders of the digestive system, help to improve the activity of the liver, gallbladder, pancreas;
- a combination of iron, B vitamins and molybdenum improves blood composition by increasing hemoglobin;
- additionally stimulates the excretion of sputum in respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis, pneumonia.
Sorrel in various forms:
- supports the body with problems of the cardiovascular system, helps to regulate the level of cholesterol in the blood;
- useful for gastritis with low acidity of gastric juice, helps to cope with colitis and enterocolitis, enhances bowel function, improves hemorrhoids;
- relieves pain and alcohol intoxication, unpleasant symptoms with menopause;
- being a natural antioxidant, it slows down the aging process.
How and when is it harmful?
If you have any chronic medical conditions, the use of sorrel should be discussed with your doctor. There are a number of conditions in which sorrel is categorically contraindicated.:
- any inflammatory processes of the genitourinary system, urolithiasis, renal pathologies, gout;
- gastritis, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer during an exacerbation (with caution during remission), chronic gastritis against the background of an increased level of hydrochloric acid;
- inflammatory processes in the intestines;
- polyarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis;
- disorders of water-salt metabolism, high content of uric acid in blood serum;
- age up to three years;
- allergic reactions to the components that make up the plant.
Despite the obvious benefits, it is not worth getting carried away with sorrel for a long period even for people with excellent health. Large amounts of oxalic acid can:
- irritate the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines;
- lead to disturbances in the salt balance, increasing the risk of salt deposition in the urine, the development of urolithiasis, gout, kidney dysfunction;
- provoke disorders of mineral metabolism, contributing to the occurrence of arthritis, rheumatism, osteoporosis.
Recommended with caution:
- people with insufficient calcium in the body;
- patients with type 1 diabetes;
- in the children's diet.
Numerous useful properties, interesting taste and availability are the undoubted advantages of sorrel. However, in some cases, the plant is not so harmless. You must remember this so as not to harm yourself and your loved ones.
Read more about the benefits and dangers of sorrel in this video: