Herb: Mountain Sorrel


Latin name: Oxyria digyna


Synonyms: Rheum digynum, Rumex digynus


Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)



Medicinal use of Mountain Sorrel:

The leaves are rich in vitamin C and are used to treat scurvy. The roots, stems and leaves are cooked and eaten in the treatment of dysentery.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
45 cm
(1 foot)

Flovering:
June to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Damp rocky places on mountains, especially by streams, avoiding acid soils. Locally common on enriched soils below bird roosts.

Edible parts of Mountain Sorrel:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A pleasing acid taste and an excellent potherb. A very nice addition to salads. The leaves can be fermented into a sauerkraut for winter use. Use in moderation, see notes at top of sheet,

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. The seed germinates within 2 weeks. It can also be sown as soon as it is ripe, when it germinates within a few days. Prick the seedlings out into individual pots as soon as they are ripe and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in the spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Cultivation of Mountain Sorrel:

Damp rocky places on mountains, especially by streams, avoiding acid soils. Locally common on enriched soils below bird roosts.

Known hazards of Oxyria digyna:

The leaves contain oxalic acid, which gives them their sharp flavour. Perfectly all right in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since oxalic acid can bind up the body's supply of calcium leading to nutritional deficiency. The quantity of oxalic acid will be reduced if the leaves are cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.