Sorrel, Sheep's

Medical Herbs Catalogue


Sorrel, Sheep's

otanical: Rumex acetosella Synonym: Field Sorrel.
Part Used: Herb.

Sheep's Sorrel is much smaller than either French or Garden Sorrel, and is often tinged, especially towards the end of the summer, a deep red hue. It is a slender plant, the stems from 3 to 4 inches to nearly a foot high, often many and tufted, decumbent at the base. The leaves, 1/2 to 2 inches in length, have long petioles and are variable in breadth, mostly narrow-lanceolate, the lower ones hastate and the lobes of the base usually spreading and often divided.

It 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.

Like the other Sorrels, it is highly acid, though is less active in its properties than the French or Garden species.

Medicinal Action and Uses: The whole herb is employed medicinally, in the fresh state. The action is diuretic, refrigerant and diaphoretic, and the juice extracted from the fresh plant is of use in urinary and kidney diseases.