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pharmacist ╩amenova ┼lena Cvetanova
Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University
ACTUAL PHARMACY SCIENCE: RUMEX ACETOSA L.
Theádocksáandásorrels,ágenusáRumexáL., are a genus of about 200 species ofáannual,ábiennialáandáperennialáherbsáin theábuckwheat familyáPolygonaceae.
Members of this family are very common perennial herbs growing mainly in theánorthern hemisphere, but various species have been introduced almost everywhere.Some are nuisanceáweedsá(and are sometimes called dockweed or dock weed), but some are grown for their edibleáleaves.Rumexáspecies are used as food plants by theálarvaeáof a number ofáLepidopteraáspecies.
Description:They are erect plants, usually with longátap roots. The fleshy to leathery leaves form a basal rosette at the root. The basal leaves may be different from those near theáinflorescence. They may or may not havestipules. There are minor leaf veins. The leaf blade margins are entire or crenate.The usually inconspicuousáflowersáare 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,áRumex 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 calledábutter dock because its large leaves were used to wrap and conserveábutter.They are edible.Rumex hymenosepalusáhas been cultivated in the Southwestern US,Ukraine,Europe as a source ofátanniná(roots contain up to 25 percent tannin), for use in leather tanning, while leaves and stems are used for a mordant-free mustard-coloredádye.The leaves of most species containáoxalic acidáandátannin, and many haveááastringentáand slightlyápurgativeáqualities. Some species with particularly high levels of oxalic acid are calledásorrelsá(including sheep's sorrel,áRumex acetosella, common sorrel,áRumex acetosaáand French sorrel,áRumex scutatus), and some of these are grown asápot herbsáor gardenáherbsáfor their acidic taste.In Western Europe, dock leaves are a traditional remedy for the sting ofánettles,áand suitable larger docks (such as broad-leaved dockRumex obtusifoliusáor curled dockáRumex 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 stenophyllusáLedeb.
Common sorreláorágarden sorrelá(Rumex acetosa), often simply calledásorrel, is aáperennialáherbáthat is cultivated as a gardenáherbáorleaf vegetableá(pot herb). Other names for sorrel includeáspinach dockáandánarrow-leaved dock.
Growth:Sorrel is a slenderáplantáabout 60ácm high, with roots that run deep into the ground, as well as juicy stems and edible, oblongáleaves. The lower leaves are 7 to 15ácm in length, slightly arrow-shaped at the base, with very longápetioles. The upper ones areásessile, and frequently become crimson. The leaves are eaten by theálarvaeáof several species ofáLepidopteraá(butterflyáandámoth) including theáblood-veinámoth.Characteristics:It has whorled spikes of reddish-greenáflowers, which bloom in (dioecious); the ripeáseedsáare 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 inásoupsáandsaucesáor added toásalads;they have a flavour that is similar toákiwifruitáor souráwild strawberries. The plant's sharp taste is due toáoxalate (oxalic acid), which is potentially toxic in large doses -aápoison.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' (¨ÓÔňŰŘ) and is used to make soup calledáshav. It is used as a soup ingredient in other countries, too (e.g.,ááLithuania, where it is known as rūgštynė).In Hungary the plant and its leaves is known asásóskaá("SHO-sh-kaw"). It is calledákuzu kulağıá('lamb's ear') in Turkish. In Polish it is calledászczaw.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 ináspanakopita.
Subspecies:Severalá important subspeciesáhave been named; not all are cultivated:
R.acetosaássp.áAcetosa,R.acetosaássp.áAmbiguus,R.acetosaássp.áArifolius,R.acetosaássp.áHibernicus,R. acetosaássp.áHirtulus, R. acetosaássp.ávinealis
Ľ1.áá "Rumex graminifoliusáJ.H. Rudolphi ex Lamb.".áIntegrated Taxonomic Information System.
Ľ2.áá Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)á(2005-08-04).á"Genus:áRumexáL.".áTaxonomy for Plants.USDA,áARS,NGRP,National Germplasm Resources Laboratory,Beltsville, Maryland.
Ľ3.áá Łukasz Łuczaj (2008).á"Archival data on wild food plants used in Poland".áJ Ethnobiol Ethnomedá