Sheep Sorrel Benefits

Sheep Sorrel

A Rich Source of Vitamin C, E, Beta-Carotene, and Other Cartenoids

Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella) is an herb that many Americans consider to be just a common weed, particularly in areas where blueberries grow. However, its medicinal uses have been known for quite some time. In fact, it has recently received extra attention for its use in a common cancer tea. Historically, sheep sorrel has been used to treat a variety of issues from inflammation and diarrhea to scurvy and cancer. What’s interesting about this herb is that every single part of the plant can be used medicinally.

Sheep Sorrel Natural Antioxidant Benefits

The sheep sorrel herb has been considered a rich source of vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids. In fact, in "The New Healing Herb," sheep sorrel is cited as one of the most potent antioxidant herbs known. Currently, however, it is most well-known within the alternative cancer treatment community as one of the main ingredients in several formulas such as Jon Barron’s Blood Support and René Caisse’s Essiac tea. Incidentally, Essiac is simply Caisse spelled backwards.

Sheep Sorrel as a Cancer Remedy

Blood Support from Baseline Nutritionals

René Caisse, who popularized Essiac tea as a cancer cure, felt sheep sorrel was the most active cancer fighter among all the herbs present in her formula. That viewpoint was seconded by Dr. Chester Stock at Sloan-Kettering in New York. Dr. Stock studied sheep sorrel benefits for over three years in the mid-seventies.

His conclusion was that sheep sorrel destroyed cancer cells in the body and inhibited metastasis by actually causing cancer cells to return to the original tumor site. Caisse believed that sheep sorrel, along with the other herbs in her tea, acted as blood purifiers, carrying away destroyed tissue as well as infections thrown off by the malignancy.

Finally, in 2012, the results of a study out of Hungary were published that showed that the Sheep Sorrel herb, and a number of its Sorrel relatives, demonstrated substantial cell growth inhibitory activity (at least 50% inhibition of cell proliferation) against one or more cancerous cell lines. Score one for the herbalists. It seems they've been right all along.  This is why, as already mentioned, you’ll find sheep sorrel as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Blood Support formula.

Sheep Sorrel for Sinus Related Conditions

Not just a potential cancer treatment, sheep sorrel has other medicinal uses as well. It is commonly used to help reduce the inflammation and pain that accompanies sinusitis. The reason for this is the tannins present in the plant, as they help in decreasing the body’s production of mucus. You might also find this herb in supplements marketed as remedies for infections and bacteria.

Other Natural Health Benefits of Sheep Sorrel

Other health benefits that have been associated with sheep sorrel include:

  • helping enhance the flow of urine
  • treating fevers and inflammations
  • treating kidney and urinary tract diseases
  • as a remedy for intestinal parasites
  • helping in maintaining the normal levels of blood sugar
  • as a topical remedy for eczema, herpes, and itchy rashes
  • helping with a variety of digestive problems
  • cooling the liver
  • strengthening the heart

How to Use Sheep Sorrel

During the spring and summer time, you may find fresh sheep sorrel in your local farmers/growers market. It makes a healthy addition to salads and soups. You may also find it in tincture, capsule, powder or tea form. Please be aware that this herb should not be used on children or pregnant or nursing women. It is also not advised for people with kidney stones, arthritis, rheumatism, endometriosis, gout and hyperacidity. You should also not take this herb with diuretics or laxatives, as it may result in serious potassium loss.

Learn more about preventing cancer.


Tamayo C, et al. The chemistry and biological activity of herbs used in Flor-essence herbal tonic and Essiac. Phytotherapy Res 2000;14:1-14.
"The New Healing Herbs"; Michael Castleman; 2010
Lajter I, Zupkó I, Molnár J, et al. "Antiproliferative Activity of Polygonaceae Species from the Carpathian Basin against Human Cancer Cell Lines." Phytother Res. 2012 Apr 4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4690. [Epub ahead of print]


    Submitted by Jane Fadeley on
    April 16, 2016 - 7:03pm
    Jersey , Georgia

    I have been told my whole life, that this plant is called Billy Goat Grass, is there any truth to the name.

    Submitted by Garry Waters on
    September 30, 2016 - 7:52am
    Sanctuary Point NSW Australia 2540 , Alabama

    I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in January 2015, After reading an article on sheep sorrel and essiac I began taking 5 sheep sorrel and 1 5mg of folic acid a day until I started 4 infusions of chemo. After chemo the tumour had reduced from 23mm down to 12 mm, In April 2015i then started back on sheep sorrel and folic acid, the next CT Scan September2015 revealled that the tumour had shrunk to 7mm. Icontinued taking the sheep sorrell and folic acid until my next CT Scan March 2016 and again the tumour had shrunk again (not sure by how much). I continued taking sheep sorrel and folic acid until my next CT Scan in September 2016 after seeing the Oncologist on 29th September 2016 the tumour had disappeared completly much to his amazement I will continue on this medication until another CT Scan in March 2017

    Submitted by Nina Marie on
    November 4, 2017 - 9:20am
    Chicago , Illinois

    How did your scan in March turn out?
    One word of caution. Folic Acid will cause a cascade of problems sooner or later since it must go through a couple dozen stems to get turned into usable folate in the body and can cause other deficiencies in the process. What you actually want and need is folate. Hint: It’s all about the methyl group.
    Same for Vitamin C. You really need whole food forms, not ascorbic acid. Amazing how Nature knows what it’s doing and isn’t worried about if it’s molecular structures are patentable.

    Submitted by dorothy on
    February 17, 2017 - 9:33am
    liverpool england ,

    l have been eating this for over sixty years the same as my father before me. lt tastes really nice and is so beneficial health wise... at long last it is being discussed thank you very much.

    Submitted by John King on
    March 26, 2017 - 10:07am

    The sheep sorrel used in salads is NOT the same as what is used to treat cancer. Don't be confused.


    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    March 27, 2017 - 12:20pm

    Jon Barron uses Rumex acetosella (the botanical name for sheep shorrel)in his Blood Support formula. And here it is being used in a salad recipe from Mother Earth News. What other species are you talking about that is also known as sheep sorrel?

    Note: the following are synonyms for Rumex, but they are all the same plant.

    • Acetosella vulgaris Fourr.
    • Acetosa angiocarpa (Murb.) Á. Löve (misapplied)
    • Acetosella vulgaris Fourr. subsp. pyrenaica (Pourr. ex Lapeyr.) Á. Löve
    • Rumex acetosella L.
    • Rumex acetosella L. subsp. pyrenaica (Pourr. ex Lapeyr.) Akeroyd
    • Rumex acetosella L. var. vulgaris Koch
    • Rumex angiocarpus Murb. (misapplied)
    • Rumex pyrenaica Pourr. ex Lapeyr.
    Submitted by Anonymous on
    April 28, 2017 - 10:05pm
    Tampa , Florida

    My siblings and I ate this herb all the time as children,walking through the fields so did my mother and her siblings,never had any problems. So my question is why can't children be given this herb?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    May 1, 2017 - 10:26am

    Thousands of children across the country have grown up eating sheep sorrel. There is no indication that this is a problem. Using it at therapeutic levels, however, may be problematic for children for several reasons. First, sheep sorrel has high levels of oxalic acid, the effect of which in terms of producing kidney stones is magnified in children’s smaller bodies. Also, another side effect that one must be mindful of when taking sheep sorrel is diarrhea. Diarrhea can lead to potassium loss and dehydration—both of which are especially problematic for children.

    Submitted by Bea on
    May 13, 2017 - 3:13am
    Palmdale , California

    Can this product be taken even during chemo treatments?
    I just read this article and I would like to recommend it to my brother who has cancer.

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    May 15, 2017 - 11:22am

    For obvious legal reasons, we cannot diagnose or prescribe for specific medical conditions—merely provide information. Your brother will need to talk with his doctor for a specific recommendation on using any herb or products with his chemo.

    Submitted by Tina Kauffman on
    April 10, 2018 - 12:32pm
    Augusta , Georgia

    Yes, it can be used to compliment chemo therapy! I have known many people who use it right along with their treatments, producing favorable results to their physicians amazement.

    Submitted by Anonymous on
    June 9, 2017 - 7:46pm

    Don't bother telling your doctor about it they will do everything the can to discourage you from anything herbal because they can't make money off that.

    Submitted by Tony L Cheek on
    July 3, 2017 - 3:25am
    Anderson , South Carolina

    Doctors know that big pharma has their hands tied. If they use other than approved FDA medicine they could lose their license to practice.

    Submitted by Dr. Kerrie on
    April 18, 2018 - 10:51am
    Boston , Massachusetts

    Hi there, I'm wondering why this wouldn't be advised for those with arthritis? I was about to suggest it to my aunt who has SUCCESSFULLY *ding ding* completed chemo and is currently cancer free. Unfortunately she also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis so I am pausing before making any recommendations to her.

    I'm hoping you can shed light on the reason this product is discouraged for arthritic population. Thanks in advance!

    Submitted by Dr.H.Davis on
    September 18, 2018 - 4:52pm
    Torrance , California

    Cats claw bark wild crafted from Peru ONLY long story- is ideal for the immune system. proffered it to a man with liver cancer who was going through a university cancer very aggressive chemo program.
    He drank it as a tea everyday. .
    At the end he was the only one whose hair did not fall out and he never became sick in any way as all of the others did
    The doctors called him in their office and asked him what he was drinking as they surmised that was what gave him a good outcome. He told them Cats claw tea.
    Later, he told me they gave the tea to each person going through the program!
    His cancer left never returned. He kept up the CC tea.

Add New Comment