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Horse sorrel is a plant that everyone has encountered. Where does this sorrel grow? As a rule, along the banks of reservoirs, in wastelands and meadows. Because of this, many consider it a useless weed.
However, this is not the case. Horse sorrel is widely used in cooking, treatment of various diseases, is used as animal feed and is an excellent assistant for gardeners.
In our article you will read the recommendations for the use of this plant, as well as see a photo of the horse sorrel.
Aveluk - what is it?
Perennial herb, belongs to the buckwheat family. It features tall, thick stems with brown seeds and an underdeveloped short root. The leaves have a bitter taste and are used in soups and salads. The roots of the plant are often used medicinally. Other names for horse sorrel:
- wild sorrel;
- Armenian grass;
- horse farm;
- frog sour;
- horse oxalis;
- hernia fire;
- thick sorrel.
What a wild plant looks like: a description of the appearance and a photo
Horse sorrel is a fairly large plant. It can reach a height of 150 cm. Tall stems with brown seed panicles can be easily recognized even from afar.
- Leaves. Oblong, long. The lower ones are large, the upper ones are smaller.
- Flowers. Nondescript, greenish-yellow, collected in cylindrical inflorescences
- Fruit. Light brown triangular nuts. Fall off in the winter.
Geography and history
Horse sorrel is a fairly well-known plant. Found in almost the entire European part of Russia, with the exception of the Far North. It can be found at the roadside, on city wastelands, on the shores of water bodies, but its favorite habitat is floodplain meadows.
The plant has been known to man for several millennia. For medical purposes, it was used in ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates noted its pleasant taste and good laxative effect. In oriental medicine, sorrel root has been used to treat stomach ulcers and jaundice.
Medieval German medicine with the help of this plant treated irritation of the respiratory tract, used as an antiseptic and a remedy for inflammation of the joints. In European countries, horse sorrel tincture was considered a good cure for scurvy..
How is it different from the usual?
These two species of sorrel, although from the buckwheat genus, differ from each other in size, leaf shape and taste. Horse sorrel grows up to one and a half meters and has long drooping leaves. Common sorrel reaches a height of one meter, and its leaves grow upward.
These two species can only be confused with each other when the plants are still young. Small leaves of horse sorrel taste sour, like ordinary sorrel. In an adult plant, the leaves acquire bitterness and, unlike the leaves of ordinary sorrel, they are no longer eaten fresh.
Useful and medicinal properties of the Armenian herb
For medicinal purposes, all parts of horse sorrel are used - roots, leaves, seeds. A decoction is prepared from the roots, fresh leaves are applied to wounds and abscesses, and tinctures are obtained from the seeds.
Horse sorrel is used as:
- lowering blood pressure;
- dilating blood vessels;
- stopping bleeding.
Harm and contraindications
Tinctures and decoctions based on horse sorrel, as well as plant leaves in their pure form, are forbidden to be consumed every day. Sorrel promotes the leaching of calcium from the body, can harm the functioning of the kidneys and cause the formation of stones in them. Also the plant should not be given to young children and women during pregnancy and lactation.
Can you cultivate it yourself?
Horse sorrel grows everywhere, many without even knowing what kind of plant it is, I consider it a weed. It makes no sense to grow horse sorrel on your own, the plant can be found even in city wastelands, not to mention the banks of rivers and reservoirs. In addition, it grows rapidly and abundantly. However, if the desire to grow this type of sorrel in your summer cottage is great, it is worth remembering that the plant loves moist, humus-rich soils, tolerates shade well and does not cause much trouble. Spread by seed or by dividing the bush.
When and how to harvest?
It is better to collect horse sorrel away from large roads, along the banks of reservoirs, in forest glades and wet meadows. Such plants have absorbed much less hazardous substances during their growth.
- Root. They are harvested either in late autumn, after the aerial part of the plant dies off, or in spring, before the beginning of the growing season (April-May).
- to clear the dug out rhizomes from the ground, remove the aerial part;
- rinse with cold water;
- leave for a while in the sun to wither;
- chop by cutting thick roots lengthwise;
- dry in a well-ventilated area.
- When are meadow sorrel leaves harvested? During the flowering period from May to June. For eating, only medium-sized leaves are cut, they are the softest, most tender and not very bitter. The leaves are washed in cold water and dried in a well-ventilated area.
- Seeds. Harvested in July, when they turn rusty-red in color. They are well sorted out, debris removed and stored in glassware.
How can you use it for your vegetable garden?
This plant can not only be eaten and used for medicinal purposes. Sorrel is also a good assistant for gardeners.
Fertilizer and strawberry processing
An excellent remedy for protecting and feeding strawberries is horse sorrel infusion. It is very easy to do and helps the berry to stand strong and bear fruit well all summer.
- Grind horse sorrel.
- Fold in a bucket and tamp well.
- Cover with warm water.
- Insist 1-2 weeks until a dark slurry appears.
- Dig up the sorrel root and rinse well in cold water.
- Chop 300 grams of root.
- Pour 10 liters of water and leave for 2-3 hours.
- Add 30-40 grams of soap for more stickiness.
Spray and water the strawberries with the ready-made infusion. Dilute 1 liter of horse sorrel infusion in 10 liters of water and pour under each bush or into the grooves made.
Horse sorrel is also a good helper in the fight against aphids, ticks and cruciferous bugs. on cabbage.
To prepare the infusion:
Spray cabbage with ready-made infusion 5-7 times during the entire growing season. Stop spraying a month before harvest. Such an easy way will protect cabbage from pests and get a rich vegetable harvest.
For animal feeding
Sorrel is often used in livestock and poultry farming as a delicacy. While the plant is young, its leaves are soft and pleasant to the taste; in an adult, the leaves become hard and bitter, which scares animals away from it.
Sorrel can be fed to calves, pigs, sheep, poultry. With great pleasure the plant is eaten by rabbits, which has a beneficial effect on their digestive system and overall health of the body. In the summer, you need to give the animals fresh sorrel, clearing the leaves from dirt and debris, in the winter - in a dried form.
Contrary to popular belief, horses hardly eat this kind of sorrel. And they named it that way for the size that can reach the height of a person.
How to prepare for the winter?
Fresh horse sorrel is not stored for long, therefore, it is recommended to make blanks for the winter. There are several ways:
- Dry the leaves. Cut clean leaves into strips, spread evenly and dry. Store in a glass jar with a plastic lid.
- Freeze in the freezer. Fold a portion into bags or containers for "one time". Do not re-freeze.
- Salt. Cut sorrel leaves into glass jars or put them whole, sprinkle with salt.
- Preserve. Pour boiling water over the leaves sprinkled with salt. You can store such blanks for up to two years.
How to get rid of it?
The plant grows very quickly and abundantly... Many summer residents consider it a weed and try to get rid of it. If there is a single specimen of sorrel on the site, you can dig it out or pull it out by hand. The rapid growth of this plant is a sure sign of soil acidification. You can neutralize it with quicklime or ground eggshells scattered on the ground.
You can also knock down the above-ground part of the sorrel with a shovel, and pour ash on the roots. Prune the plant several times and remove the roots with a rake. As a last resort, use herbicides. But only in the autumn, after harvesting all the vegetables, so that they do not suffer from chemicals.
Unknowingly, horse sorrel can be confused with other plants, some of which are poisonous and hazardous to health.
- Spurge. A garden weed with a thick, fleshy stem and large leaves that is very difficult to get rid of. It got its name from the white, poisonous juice that looks like milk. In no case should spurge be given to animals. It contains a large amount of an alkaloid substance that can cause acute poisoning or even death.
- Blackroot (dog root, henbane red). Tall plant with bright green leaves. It is considered medicinal, used in folk medicine and household use. Has a specific odor that scares off rodents. Ornamental varieties bloom beautifully and are able to decorate the garden.
- Horseradish is ordinary. Perennial herb with large leaves. It is mainly found in damp places, meadows and along the banks of water bodies. The roots are used for food as a seasoning, leaves for pickles, petioles - in kvass. As a medicine, it is valued as an antibiotic, choleretic, diuretic, used for gout and rheumatism.
More than 150 species of sorrel are known in nature. One of them - horse, is widespread in Russia. Its roots and leaves contain organic acids, vitamins and essential oils, thanks to which sorrel is successfully used in the treatment of various diseases. However, it is contraindicated in pregnant women and people with kidney disease.
In addition, daily consumption of the plant for food is not recommended. Horse sorrel serves as a gardener and protects strawberries and cabbage from pests. Some animals happily eat the leaves of this plant as a treat.