Acedera, Acedera Común, Azeda-Brava, Common Sorrel, Field Sorrel, Garden Sorrel, Oseille, Oseille Commune, Oseille des Champs, Petite Oseille, Petite Oseille des Brebis, Red Sorrel, Rumex acetosa, Rumex acetosella, Sheep's Sorrel, Sorrel Dock, Sour Dock, Surette, Vignette, Vinette, Wiesensauerampfer.


Overview Information

Sorrel is a plant. People use the above ground parts for medicine.

Be careful not to confuse sorrel (Rumex acetosa) with roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), which is known as Jamaican sorrel or Guinea sorrel.

People commonly take sorrel by mouth for reducing swelling (inflammation) of the nasal passages (sinusitis). It is also used to treat swelling of the respiratory tract (bronchitis). But there is limited scientific research to support this use.

Sorrel is also used as an ingredient in sauces and soups.

How does it work?

Sorrel contains tannins, which have a drying effect to reduce mucous production.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Sinusitis (inflamed nasal passages). Some research suggests that taking a specific product that contains sorrel, gentian root, European elderflower, verbena, and cowslip flower by mouth daily for up to 14 days improves symptoms of sinusitis, such as congestion and headache.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Breast cancer. Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing sorrel, burdock root, Indian rhubarb, and slippery elm by mouth does not improve quality of life or mood in people with breast cancer.
  • Bronchitis. Early research shows that taking a specific combination product containing sorrel, gentian root, European elderflower, verbena, and cowslip flower by mouth for 10 days improves cough and other symptoms of bronchitis.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Infections.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of sorrel for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Sorrel is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when consumed in food amounts or when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts as part of a combination product containing gentian root, European elder flower, verbena, and cowslip flower (Sinupret, SinuComp). It is also POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as part of a combination product containing burdock root, Indian rhubarb, and slippery elm bark (Essiac). Sorrel in combination with other herbs can cause upset stomach and occasionally an allergic skin rash. In larger doses, sorrel can cause damage to the kidneys, liver, and digestive organs.

Sorrel is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts, since it might increase the risk of developing kidney stones. There is also a report of death after consuming a large amount (500 grams) of sorrel.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Sorrel is POSSIBLY UNSAFE in children when taken by mouth in large amounts. Sorrel contains oxalic acid. There is concern because a four-year-old child died after eating rhubarb leaves, which also contain oxalic acid.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Sorrel is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts during pregnancy. Although unlikely, taking sorrel as part of a combination product (Sinupret) during pregnancy might increase the risk of birth defects. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking sorrel in medicinal amounts if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Kidney disease: Large amounts of sorrel might increase the risk of kidney stones. Don’t use sorrel without a healthcare professional’s advice if you have ever had or are at risk of getting kidney stones.



We currently have no information for SORREL Interactions.



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • Sinusitis (inflamed nasal passages): A specific combination product containing 36 mg of sorrel, 12 mg of gentian root, and 36 mg each of European elder flower, verbena, and cowslip flower has been taken three times daily for up to 14 days.

View References


  • Bhakuni, D. S., Bittner, M., Marticorena, C., Silva, M., Weldt, E., and Hoeneisen, M. Screening of Chilean plants for anticancer activity. I. Lloydia. 1976;39(4):225-243. View abstract.
  • Choe S., Hwang B, Kim M, and et al. Chemical components of Rumex acetellosa L. Korean J Pharmacog 1998;29:209-216.
  • Dornberger, K. and Lich, H. [Screening for antimicrobial and presumed cancerostatic plant metabolites (author's transl)]. Pharmazie 1982;37(3):215-221. View abstract.
  • Ernst, E., Marz, R. W., and Sieder, C. [Acute bronchitis: effectiveness of Sinupret. Comparative study with common expectorants in 3,187 patients]. Fortschr.Med 4-20-1997;115(11):52-53. View abstract.
  • Farre, M., Xirgu, J., Salgado, A., Peracaula, R., Reig, R., and Sanz, P. Fatal oxalic acid poisoning from sorrel soup. Lancet 12-23-1989;2(8678-8679):1524. View abstract.
  • Gniazdowska, B., Doroszewska, G., and Doroszewski, W. [Hypersensitivity to weed pollen allergens in the region of Bygdoszcz]. Pneumonol.Alergol.Pol. 1993;61(7-8):367-372. View abstract.
  • Karn H and Moore MJ. The use of the herbal remedy ESSIAC in an outpatient cancer population. Proc Annu Meet Am Soc Clin Oncol 1997;16:A245.
  • Lee, N. J., Choi, J. H., Koo, B. S., Ryu, S. Y., Han, Y. H., Lee, S. I., and Lee, D. U. Antimutagenicity and cytotoxicity of the constituents from the aerial parts of Rumex acetosa. Biol Pharm Bull. 2005;28(11):2158-2161. View abstract.
  • Locock RA. Herbal medicine: Essiac. Can Pharm J 1997;130 (Feb):18-19, 51.
  • Melzer, J., Saller, R., Schapowal, A., and Brignoli, R. Systematic review of clinical data with BNO-101 (Sinupret) in the treatment of sinusitis. Forsch Komplement.Med (2006.) 2006;13(2):78-87. View abstract.
  • Neubauer N and Marz RW. Placebo-controlled, randomized double-blind clinical trial with Sinupret sugar coated tablets on the basis of a therapy with antibiotics and decongestant nasal drops in acute sinusitis. Phytomedicine 1994;1:177-181.
  • Richardson, M. A. Research of complementary/alternative medicine therapies in oncology: promising but challenging. J Clin Oncol. 1999;17(11 Suppl):38-43. View abstract.
  • Richstein, A. and Mann, W. [Treatment of chronic sinusitis with Sinupret]. Ther.Ggw. 1980;119(9):1055-1060. View abstract.
  • Sanz, P. and Reig, R. Clinical and pathological findings in fatal plant oxalosis. A review. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1992;13(4):342-345. View abstract.
  • Tai, J. and Cheung, S. In Vitro culture studies of FlorEssence on human tumor cell lines. Phytother Res 2005;19(2):107-112. View abstract.
  • Tarasova, G. D. [The administration of sinupret in the treatment of acute sinusitis in children]. Vestn.Otorinolaringol. 2001;(2):46-48. View abstract.
  • U.S.Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Essiac. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC: 1990.
  • Yamamoto A. Essiac. Can J Hosp Pharm 1988;41(3):158.
  • Bicker J, Petereit F, Hensel A. Proanthocyanidins and a phloroglucinol derivative from Rumex acetosa L. Fitoterapia 2009;80(8):483-95. View abstract.
  • Derksen A, Hensel A, Hafezi W, et al. 3-O-galloylated procyanidins from Rumex acetosa L. inhibit the attachment of influenza A virus. PLoS One 2014;9(10):e110089. View abstract.
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