Sorrel drink is a festive beverage in Jamaica that is consumed mainly during the Christmas time along with the Jamaican fruit cake. However, while this fascinating perennial herb is cultivated all over the world for a wide variety of purposes, in Jamaica, sorrel is primarily used as a beverage. But there are many health benefits associated with our favourite Christmas drink. Here are some remarkable and surprising ways drinking sorrel can have a positive effect on your health.
- According to the Scientific Research Council (SRC), sorrel contains a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. But it is a group of compounds called Flavonoids which not only give its deep red colour but acts as a powerful antioxidant which scavenges the body of free radicals that can cause deadly diseases.
- Research at Jamaica’s Northern Caribbean University has revealed that sorrel could kill certain types of cancer cells. Again, this is due to the high levels of Flavonoids that work as a deterrent against certain kinds of cancer.
- Sorrel is used as a diuretic in India, Africa and Mexico and has benefits for kidney health when ingested daily.
- According to the Jamaica Gleaner, in some parts of Africa the red calyx of the sorrel is used to relieve coughs, while the leaves are made into a poultice to relieve boils and abscesses.
- Sorrel has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol and helping to prevent clogged arteries.
- As a plant with significant amounts of Vitamin A, sorrel can help to improve poor eyesight and prevent age-related ocular degeneration.
- Ingesting sorrel regularly helps to optimize the body’s immune system and prevent illness due to its high Vitamin C content. Sorrel also has significant levels of iron which helps improve circulation throughout the body by boosting red blood cell production and oxygen levels in vital organs.
Photo: Xavier Murphy