So, was at a friend’s place today and asked to have some tea. She served me this flavour of tea I’d never heard of before “Ginger and Sorrell tea”. Very strong on the ginger and also tasted lemony too, would also taste fabulous as iced tea I think. Never heard of sorrel so of course I was curious as to what it was and the health benefits, if any. Now here’s the thing, I find something new, whatever it is and if it has to do with food and health, I go researching so here goes…
Apparently, Sorrel is commonly used in Jamaica during the holiday season as tea either hot or cold. They mix six ounces of dried sorrel with two tablespoons of dried ginger and a touch of allspice or cinnamon. It’s also well known in France, Greece, Egypt and Rome. Sorrel is a perennial herb that also goes by the names Narrow-leaved dock or spinach dock. It is also used as dried herbs in meals.
The sorrel plant contains nutraceuticals which are said to be beneficial to health. Now, the big word nutraceuticals is actually a combination of two words “nutrition” and “pharmaceuticals” which is credited to Dr Stephen DeFelice who apparently coined the term in 1989. Nutraceuticals is often used to describe the many dietary supplemets derived from plants that may have benefits to the body or may supply the body with essential fatty acids, proteins or other nutrients.
Sorrel contains antioxidants known as flavonoids, which makes it a good deterrent against certain types of cancer and also enhances the immune system. Sorrel contains high amounts of vitamins A and C, magnesium, calcium and potassium. The antioxidant properties in the sorrel plant can help fight the signs of aging. It can help protect against free radical damage that can leave the skin looking aged and wrinkled. Free radicals cause a lot of damage to the body and we need high levels of antioxidants to protect our bodies.
Sorrel leaves can be used as dried herbs to treat itchy skin, fever, scurvy and ringworm. The way to use them is to cut them up thinly and sprinkle the over soups or salads, it can also be put used in meals as a sauce that can go over fish or chicken dishes. Something to try when I find where I can get the herb – more supermarket research to do.
There’s more – when the herb is taken as tea, it is apparently helpful in treating jaundice and kidney stones. Also, when they are eaten fresh, it acts as a diuretic and can clear out the body’s system. As a result of this cleansing, the prostate benefits and can work more efficiently. Note of warning though, sorrel is known as a natural laxative, so only a small amount should be used at any one time. All this from this little plant, is that amazing or what? Just goes to show we can actually heal our bodies with everyday foods in an inexpensive way, we just need to know what to use.