• Sheep Sorrel

    Synonyms: Common Sorrel, Field Sorrel, Red Sorrel, Sorrel

    Family: Polygonaceae

    Genus species: Rumex acetosella, Rumex acetosa

    Part Used: Aerial parts

    Location: Europe, Asia, North America

    Actions: Blood coagulant, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, hemostyptic, poison, purgative, refrigerant

    Indications: Cancer (throat), fever, kidney disorders, scurvy, tumor, warts

    Chemicals & Nutrients: Calcium, Magnesium, Oxalic Acid (0.3% in R. acetosa), Phosphorus, Potassium, Rutin, Silicon, Tannins (7-15%), Vitamin C

    Contraindications: Kidney stones, or history of kidney stones.

    Drug Interactions: Due to the diuretic action of this herb the following drug interactions are possible: increased risk of toxicity with anti-inflammatory analgesics; if hypokalemia occurs possible antagonism with antiarrhythmics and potentiation of muscle relaxants; antagonizes antidiabetic (hypoglycemic) drugs; may potentiate and/or interfere with antihypertensives; may potentiate lithium therapy; when taken with corticosteroids there is a risk for hypokalemia; may potentiate other diuretics and increase the risk of hypokalemia.

    Warning: Rumex spp. contain water soluble oxalates (calcium oxalate, potassium oxalate) that are toxic when consumed in large quantities. In sufficient quantities, potassium or sodium oxalate (soluble forms) can cause the precipitation of calcium into calcium oxalate (insoluble form) in the blood causing hypocalcemia and acute kidney failure due to calcium oxalate crystals in the renal tubules. Oxalic acid, in small quantities, is an blood coagulant. Tannins are incompatible with alkalies, gelatin, heavy metals, iron, lime water, metallic salts, strong oxidizing agents and zinc sulfate. Tannins precipitate proteins. Tannins may cause bowel irritation, kidney irritation, liver damage, irritation of the stomach and gastrointestinal pain. Long-term and/or excessive use of herbs containing high concentrations of tannins is not recommended. A correlation has been made between esophogeal or nasal cancer in humans and regular consumption of certain herbs with high tannin concentrations (Lewis, W.H. and M.P.F. Elvin-Lewis. 1977. Medical Botany. Plants Affecting Man's Health. New York: John Wiley & Sons.)

    Safety: Considered unsafe for human consumption due to poison action.

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