The scientific name of this plant is “Oxalis acetosella” and is part of the Oxalidaceae family.

It is a particularly small plant that has an appearance that is very reminiscent of a clover, even if it is considerably more elegant as regards its posture, as well as the beauty that distinguishes the flowers.

The sorrel is a plant that grows mainly in places with a lot of shade, therefore on the hills and mountains.

The leaves of Oxalis sorrel they have the particular characteristic of folding in on themselves perfectly when evening arrives or when the weather is changing for the worse.

In most cases, the sorrel leaves are harvested during flowering, especially due to the fact that their balsamic power is at its maximum.

The sorrel flowers grow solitary, characterized by a white or pink color type: they bloom during the spring season, especially towards the month of May for a rather short period of time.


Oxalis acetosella prefers all those fertile and humid soils and, in particular, those shady mountainous or hilly areas; there are no rules to follow to maintain good cultivation, since it is sufficient to always give the tufts water.

Should the need arise, the sorrel leaves can be dried, although after this operation most of the beneficial properties of the plant will disappear.

Properties and active ingredients

The sorrel is used above all as a decoction when problems with the digestive system occur and also to purify the blood.

There are sorrel tablets that are an excellent remedy for skin irritations, while the infusions (which obviously must be drunk) allow you to maintain excellent skin elasticity.

Finally, it is often recommended to chew fresh sorrel leaves, so that you can count on valid support against mouth injuries.

In the same way as for sorrel, it is also important to pay close attention to the use of sorrel, since, when taken in excessive doses, it can cause a strong and dangerous intoxication.

The sorrel contains ascorbic acid, potassium dioxalate, vitamin C and mucilage inside.

The leaves of this plant are able to perform a diuretic, purifying, refreshing, astringent and febrifugal function; this is why, in some cases, they are also eaten raw to block thirst and caused by lack of water.

Through the external way, the sorrel leaves can be used (creating particular preparations) for reddened and inflamed skin, precisely because of their decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In any case, this plant has significant contraindications for all those people who have to deal with gastric, hepatic, kidney and biliary lithiasis disorders, gout.

Finally, it is always better to highlight how excessive use of sorrel leaves can cause stones, especially due to the very high oxalate content found in the plant.


In folk traditions, this plant was used to combat skin sores.

Until recently, oxalic acid was also extracted, which was then exploited for various uses, such as cleaning leather objects, treating ink and rust stains.

The farmers, on the other hand, used the sorrel plant essentially to predict the time: in fact, as night approaches, the leaves of this plant close, while if they are still closed during the day, they signal the arrival of a storm.

Sorrel is characterized by having a typically anti-infective function, since it also allows you to purify the blood, in addition to providing an important diuretic, purifying, refreshing and febrifugal action.

Often the fresh plant is used, in such a way as to collect the roots and leaves when they are still quite tender, while once it has dried, this plant disperses most of its beneficial properties.

Sorrel: Products

Products based on sorrel can be easily found in herbal medicine: they are often used for the preparation of decoctions (remember that a maximum of two cups of sorrel decoction must be drunk a day).

How sorrel is considered to be an excellent system for treating dermatosis and abscesses: in these cases, the leaves of the same decoction mentioned above can be applied).

The purifying infusions of sorrel are prepared with 100 grams of leaves of this plant and then pouring a spoonful for each cup: it is important not to drink more than two cups a day, on an empty stomach.

We also find a good use of sorrel in the industrial sector, especially because it is used to obtain an excellent whitener of ink and rust stains.

Video: Sorrel

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