WOOD SORREL (Oxalis acetosella), not for any similarity in the structure of the plant, which is in no way related to the Sorrels and Docks only to have the acidity of the sour taste. It is smaller and grows in shady wooded areas in abundance covered with red scales with leaves resembling hearts in threes, bright green on top and a purplish hue underneath. They hide from sunlight like a vampire shriveling into a pyramid preventing moisture from evaporating from their pores. Its flowers being bell shaped with five white pedals and purple veins and in the center of ten stamens five green thread-like columns from a single five- cell ovary at the base of the pedals you will find a little bit of stored honey.
The leaves, fresh or dried are used for medicinal purposes as a blood cleanser, strengthening the stomach and help increase appetite. There are diuretic, antiscorbutic having the effect of preventing or curing scurvy; a disease resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C, a decoction made from the leaves to reduce fever and thirst. Some contraindications would be to keep excess put away from those with gouty and rheumatic tendencies. The juice from leaves makes a great syrup to heal ulcers in the mouth, wound and stanch bleeding.
A good recipe to try is one of these;
From Le Dictionnaire des Ménages (Paris, 1820):
-‘Limonade sans Citrous, Limonade Sèche-
‘Take three drachms of Salt of Sorrel and one pound of white sugar; reduce them to powder separately, and then mix them. Keep the powder, which is known as dry lemonade, in a well-corked bottle. Substitute tartaric acid for Salt of Sorrel, divide the powder into suitable portions, and you have “lemonade powders without lemons.”‘
From A Plain Plantain:
-‘A Sirrup for a Feaver-
‘Take Sirrup of Violets two ounces; Sirrup of Woodsorrell two ounces; Sirrup of Lemmon two ounces, mixed altogether, and drink it.’
Grieve, M. (2014, January 1). Wood Sorrel. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
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