Sorrel is a fascinating perennial herb that is used all around the world and is cultivated for a wide variety of uses.Because of its sharp,tangy taste it is also associated with various health benefits.The high content of oxalic acid in sorrel makes it poisonous to a small degree,so intake should be regulated.Sorrel is harmless if consumed in lesser quantities.
Sorrel also provides a significant amount of fiber,very few calories,no fat and a small amount of protein.In terms of vitamins,it is rich in vitamin C and also contains vitamin A,Vitamin B-6,iron,magnesium,potassium and calcium.
Total Lipid 0.7
Vitamin C 48
Vitamin B-6 0.12
Vitamin B-12 0
Vitamin A 200
Vitamin D 0
Fatty acids 0
Health benefits of sorrel leaves:
1.Aids in digestion:
The high content of dietary fiber can be found in most varieties of sorrel means that your digestive health can be improved by adding these leaves to your soup and salads.It helps to improve gastrointestinal health and also helps in reducing conditions like constipation,diarrhea,bloating,cramping etc.
2.Regulates blood pressure:
Sorrel has a very significant level of potassium which is an essential mineral for human health.Potassium is a vasodilator,helps in maintaining fluid balance throughout the body.This means that it reduces stress on the cardiovascular system by relaxing the blood vessels and arteries.
Vitamin A which is an essential vitamin found in sorrel,helps in improvement of eyesight and helps in reduction of macular degeneration and cataracts.
4.Circulation and energy:
The significant levels of iron in sorrel boost the red blood cell production and prevent anemia.
The vitamin C content in sorrel is impressive which means that your immune system can be optimized.Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid stimulates the immune system and increases the white blood cell count in the body.
6.Treats skin conditions:
The leaves of sorrel have been used in two ways to treat skin conditions.The leaves when dried as an herb,can be eaten and this has been connected with a reduction in ringworm and itchy,dry skin.When fresh leaves are wet,the liquid that is extracted can be applied topically to the infected areas to reduce rashes and irritation.
Side effects of sorrel leaves:
1.Oxalic acid is toxin,so eating sorrel in moderate amount is important.Also,oxalic acid contributes to the growth f kidney stones,so if that is already a health concern,you should avoid eating oxalic rich foods like sorrel.
Fun facts of sorrel leaves:
1.Sorrel is a type of herbaceous plant that belongs to the buckwheat family.
2.Sorrel can be found in the fields,meadows,grasslands,woodlands,marshes etc.
3.It tolerates drought but it prefers moist soil and areas which have plenty of sun.
4.Common sorrel is rich source of dietary fibers,vitamin A and C and minerals such as iron,magnesium and potassium.
5.Leaves,seed and root of common sorrel are used in human diet.
6.Common sorrel can be consumed in the form of tea or lemonade-like drink.
7.Ancient Romans used leaves of sorrel to ease thirst when water was not available.
How to buy and store sorrel leaves?
1.Choose fresh-looking Sorrel leaves with good color and a clean fresh scent.Avoid any brown spots or wilted stalks or leaves.
2.Sorrel is best used soon after purchasing.If stored,store in a plastic bag,unwashed in the crisper section of the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
North Indian Dish:
Sorrel Leaves Dal:
1.1 cup split toar dal
2.1 tsp red chilli powder
3.1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4.2 cups sorrel leaves finely chopped
5.10 small onions
6.2 green chillies
7.3 to 4 curry leaves
8.4 cloves garlic finely chopped
9.2 dry red chillies
10.2 tsp sesame oil
11.Salt to taste
1.Pressure cook the dal along with chilli powder,turmeric and three cups of water for 5 whistles on medium flame and turn off the heat.
2.Allow the pressure to release naturally .
3.Heat oil into a pan ,add red chillies,curry leaves,crushed garlic,chopped onions,green chillies,salt and cook until the onions become translucent and soft.
4.Add sorrel leaves to the pan and cook till the sorrel leaves becomes soft.
5.Add the cooked sorrel leaves to the cooked dal in the pressure cooker and simmer for 5 minutes.
South Indian Dish:
Sorrel leaves pickle:
1.1 bunch of sorrel leaves
2.1 tsp coriander seeds
3.1 tsp fenugreek sees
4.5 to 6 red chillies
5.2 green chillies
6.1 tsp cumin seeds
7.4 to 5 garlic
9.2 tbsp oil
10.Salt to taste
11.1 onion finely chopped
1.Heat oil in a pan,fry coriander,fenugreek , cumin seeds,red chillies,green chillies,garlic flakes fro few minutes and keep aside.
2.In the remaining oil,fry the sorrel leaves and leave for 1 minute.Grind with above fried ingredients in a blender for few minutes.
3.Add tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes and blend for another 30 seconds.
4.Remove the mixture in a bowl and add chopped onions before serving.
Best time :
Sorrel is easiest to find in the spring and early summer but many farmers markets have it right through August.