Wood sorrel is a perennial plant, 5-10 cm tall. Its root is thin, creeping. Leaves on long stalks, trifoliate, similar to clover leaves. Under the influence of the weather, when there is rain or night falls, the leaves close by folding. The leaves of this plant can be found even in winter under the snow. The leaves contain oxalic acid, which gives them their characteristic taste. In May and early June, the plant enters the flowering phase.

The flowers of the plant are solitary, actinomorphic, with a faint scent. Placed on flower stems that grow up to 10cm. The flower has five white or pink-purple petals with pink or purple veins. A yellow spot is visible at the base.

For medicinal purposes, the above-ground part of the wood sorrel is collected, which is collected during the flowering of the plant. Dry on sieves, in a well-ventilated room or in forced dryers, not exceeding a temperature of 45-50C. The plant is stored in paper bags for no longer than one year.

Sorrel contains vitamins (ascorbic acid and A), carotenoids, tocopherols, phenolic acids, rutin, benzoquinone embelin. The above-ground part of the plant contains flavonoids (quercetin, glycosylizovitexin), organic acids (oxalic, succinic, malic, tartaric, fumaric, citric, tricarbalyl) are found in the leaves. The sour taste of the plant is provided by oxalic acid and oxalic calcium.

100 grams of the leaves of this plant contain 92 mg of ascorbic acid and 100 mg of carotene. 0.07% vitamin C in new leaves, around 0.15% in autumn.

Medicinal significance

The medicinal properties of wood sorrel are related to the amount of organic acids in them. Citric acid, succinic acid and oxalic acid participate in the tricarbonate acid cycle, which takes place in the mitochondrial matrix of cells. Succinic acid is one of the basic elements on the basis of which hepatoprotectors are created. Preparations based on this plant act as diuretics and bile expellers, regulating digestive processes and strengthening stomach acids.

In folk medicine, the plant is used as a diuretic, choleretic, regulating and strengthening agent. In ancient times, wild sorrel was also used to stop uterine bleeding, painful menstruation, in case of diathesis and as a strengthening agent for the cardiovascular system.

The plant is used both fresh and dried. The juice of the plant contributes to the purification of the body from toxins and slags, from heavy metals, thus becoming a valuable anti-tumor plant. The juice is also recommended for the prevention of indigestion (diarrhea) and the treatment of diseases of the oral cavity (stomatitis).

The juice of the plant has bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties, so the plant can be used in the form of applications to heal the skin.

The above-ground part of the plant is used prophylactically to treat hypo- and avitaminosis, hypoacid gastritis and anorexia.

Alcoholic extract of wild sorrel is used orally to treat spasms of the liver, stomach, gall bladder, and bladder, scurvy, jaundice, and enuresis. Externally, it is used to speed up wound healing, to treat ulcers and boils.

Decoctions of wild sorrel are effective for the treatment of lymph nodes affected by tuberculosis, stomach cancer, cardiac neurosis, as well as for the prevention of atherosclerosis. By the way, the decoction of this plant is a powerful remedy for helminths, both for adults and children.

A decoction of wild sorrel in milk has hemostatic and diuretic properties, which can be used in case of colds.

The juice of the plant can also be used to improve the aroma of the breath.

Not recommended for use

The plant is one of the mildly poisonous plants - its short-term use will not harm, but it can cause significant damage to health if it gets carried away. In nature, animals do not eat these plants at all.

The use of wood sorrel for medicinal purposes is permissible if a person does not have health problems that this plant can aggravate. This plant should not be used in case of severe kidney and liver diseases, oxaluria, bladder stones, poor blood clotting, arthritis, tendency to convulsions.

Long-term use of the plant can cause inflammation of the walls of the urinary tract, as well as inflammation of the kidneys, due to the extremely high content of oxalic acid in the plant.