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pharmacist amenova lena Cvetanova

Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University


Thedocksandsorrels,genusRumexL., are a genus of about 200 species ofannual,biennialandperennialherbsin thebuckwheat familyPolygonaceae.

Members of this family are very common perennial herbs growing mainly in thenorthern hemisphere, but various species have been introduced almost everywhere.Some are nuisanceweeds(and are sometimes called dockweed or dock weed), but some are grown for their edibleleaves.Rumexspecies are used as food plants by thelarvaeof a number ofLepidopteraspecies.

Description:They are erect plants, usually with longtap roots. The fleshy to leathery leaves form a basal rosette at the root. The basal leaves may be different from those near theinflorescence. They may or may not havestipules. There are minor leaf veins. The leaf blade margins are entire or crenate.The usually inconspicuousflowersare carried above the leaves in clusters. The fertile flowers are mostlyhermaphrodite, or they may be functionally male or female. The flowers and seeds grow on long clusters at the top of a stalk emerging from the basal rosette; in many species the flowers are green, but in some (such as sheep's sorrel,Rumex acetosella) the flowers and their stems may be brick-red. Each seed is a 3-sided achene, often with a round tubercle on one or all three sides.Uses:These plants have many uses. Broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius) used to be calledbutter dock because its large leaves were used to wrap and conservebutter.They are edible.Rumex hymenosepalushas been cultivated in the Southwestern US,Ukraine,Europe as a source oftannin(roots contain up to 25 percent tannin), for use in leather tanning, while leaves and stems are used for a mordant-free mustard-coloreddye.The leaves of most species containoxalic acidandtannin, and many haveastringentand slightlypurgativequalities. Some species with particularly high levels of oxalic acid are calledsorrels(including sheep's sorrel,Rumex acetosella, common sorrel,Rumex acetosaand French sorrel,Rumex scutatus), and some of these are grown aspot herbsor gardenherbsfor their acidic taste.In Western Europe, dock leaves are a traditional remedy for the sting ofnettles,and suitable larger docks (such as broad-leaved dockRumex obtusifoliusor curled dockRumex crispus) often grow conveniently in similar habitats to the common nettle (Urtica dioica).

Sorrel:Scientific classification, Kingdom:Plantae, Kingdom:Plantae, (unranked):Angiosperms, (unranked):Eudicots, (unranked):Core eudicots, Order:Caryophyllales, Family:Polygonaceae, Genus:Rumex, Species:R. acetosa, Binomial name: Rumex acetosa L., Synonyms: Rumex stenophyllusLedeb.

Common sorrelorgarden sorrel(Rumex acetosa), often simply calledsorrel, is aperennialherbthat is cultivated as a gardenherborleaf vegetable(pot herb). Other names for sorrel includespinach dockandnarrow-leaved dock.

Growth:Sorrel is a slenderplantabout 60cm high, with roots that run deep into the ground, as well as juicy stems and edible, oblongleaves. The lower leaves are 7 to 15cm in length, slightly arrow-shaped at the base, with very longpetioles. The upper ones aresessile, and frequently become crimson. The leaves are eaten by thelarvaeof several species ofLepidoptera(butterflyandmoth) including theblood-veinmoth.Characteristics:It has whorled spikes of reddish-greenflowers, which bloom in (dioecious); the ripeseedsare brown and shining.

Food&Med:Historically, sorrel has been used as a salad green, spring tonic, diarrhea remedy, weak diuretic, and soothing agent for irritated nasal passages. Sorrel has been used with other herbs to treat bronchitis and sinus conditions in Germany since the 1930s. The possible benefit of the multi-ingredient product, Sinupret,has recently been supported by clinical studies. Sorrel is also found in the proposed herbal cancer remedy, Essiac, but effectiveness has not been proven.Common sorrel has been cultivated for centuries.The leaves may be puréed insoupsandsaucesor added tosalads;they have a flavour that is similar tokiwifruitor sourwild strawberries. The plant's sharp taste is due tooxalate (oxalic acid), which is potentially toxic in large doses -apoison.In small quantities sorrel is harmless; in large-it can be fatal.Organ damage and death were reported following ingestion of a concentrated sorrel soup.Other adverse and drug/herb interactions are possible.In Ukraine it is called shchavel' () and is used to make soup calledshav. It is used as a soup ingredient in other countries, too (e.g.,Lithuania, where it is known as rūgštynė).In Hungary the plant and its leaves is known assóska("SHO-sh-kaw"). It is calledkuzu kulağı('lamb's ear') in Turkish. In Polish it is calledszczaw.In Croatia and Bulgaria is used for soups or with mashed potatoes, or as part of a traditional meal and other green herbs.In rural Greece it is used with spinach, leeks, and chard inspanakopita.

Subspecies:Several important subspecieshave been named; not all are cultivated:

R.acetosassp.Acetosa,R.acetosassp.Ambiguus,R.acetosassp.Arifolius,R.acetosassp.Hibernicus,R. acetosassp.Hirtulus, R. acetosassp.vinealis


1. "Rumex graminifoliusJ.H. Rudolphi ex Lamb.".Integrated Taxonomic Information System.

2. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)(2005-08-04)."Genus:RumexL.".Taxonomy for Plants.USDA,ARS,NGRP,National Germplasm Resources Laboratory,Beltsville, Maryland.

3. Łukasz Łuczaj (2008)."Archival data on wild food plants used in Poland".J Ethnobiol Ethnomed


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