Rumex acetosella

Sheep’s Sorrel is much smaller than either French or Garden Sorrel, and is often tinged, especially towards the end of the summer, with a deep red hue. It is an herbaceous perennial in the buckwheat family.

Sheep SorrelSheep Sorrel grows in pastures and dry gravelly places in most parts of the globe, except the tropics, penetrating into Arctic and Alpine regions, and is abundant in Britain, where it is sometimes called Field Sorrel. It is usually found in meadows and can be picked in the summer for medicinal use.

Sheep Sorrel as an Herb for Medicinal Uses

The whole herb is employed medicinally, in its fresh state.

Sheep Sorrel is high in oxalic acid, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, beta carotene, and vitamin C. It is a mild diuretic, mild antiseptic, and a mild laxative.

The juice extracted from the fresh plant is of use in urinary and kidney diseases.

Sheep sorrel has been used in Native American medicine as an anti-cancer plant. It is an ingredient in essiac, the name of the concoction that is used. While it’s been used for this purpose for many years, scientific evidence has yet to prove its efficacy in fighting cancer. Many herbalists believe in it strongly.

Sheep’s sorrell is especially good for use long term to treat chronic bowel problems.

Sheep’s sorrell may be taken as a paste, decoction, powder, juice or soup.

Culinary Uses of Sheep’s Sorrell

Sheep Sorrel tea is gaining popularity as an anticancer agent and for its ability to break down and reduce tumors. Sheep sorrel has also been used to treat the side effects of chemotherapy, treating mouth and throat ulcers, digestive disorders, hemorrhoids, loss of appetite, fevers, scurvy, and infections.

Other culinary uses unknown; not recommended.


Causes hay fever.

Do not take sheep’s sorrel if you have problems with kidney stones.

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