Wood-sorrel is one of the characteristic early spring-flowering plants of the woodland floor, along with wood anemone, bluebell and ramsons.
The White Goddess Divination, Scrying, Runes

Wood Sorrel - Herborium - The White Goddess

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Saturday, 14 December 2019

Wood Sorrel

Wood Sorrel

Wood Sorrel

(Spiraea Ulmaria)


Wood-sorrel (Latin oxalis, wood sorrel, from Greek, from oxus, sour) is one of the characteristic early spring-flowering plants of the woodland floor, along with wood anemone, bluebell and ramsons. It is characteristic of old woodland, native oakwood, demesne plantations and shaded hedgebanks. Leaves basal, stalked, with 3 heart shaped leaflets.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies and Cleistogomy (self-pollinating without flowers ever opening). The Welsh call the sorrel "crinche cranche."

Size: 6-12cm

Distribution: Throughout the UK

Flowering months: April to May

Habitat: Moist woods, moorland and on shady rocks

Folk Names: Aleluya, Alleluia, Common Wood Sorrel, Kazayagi, Mountain Woodsorrel, Sleeping-beauty, Witte Klaverzuring

Effects: healing, health, spiritual healing, affection, joy, maternal tenderness
Planet: Venus
Associated Deities: Fairies, Elves, Woodland Spirits

Edible Uses:

Curdling agent; Flowers; Leaves.
Leaves - raw or cooked. A delicious lemony flavour, the leaves make a refreshing, thirst-quenching munch and are also added to salads, soups, sauces etc. This leaf should be used in moderation.
Flowers - raw. A decorative addition to salads.
The dried plant can be used as a curdling agent for plant milks

Medical Indications:

Anodyne; Antiscorbutic; Astringent; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Irritant; Stomachic.

The fresh or dried leaves are anodyne, antiscorbutic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, irritant and stomachic. A decoction is used in the treatment of fevers, both to quench the thirst and allay the fever. Externally, the leaves are crushed and applied locally to dispel boils and abscesses, they also have an astringent affect on wounds. When used internally, some caution is advised due to the oxalic acid content of the leaves, the plant is contra-indicated for people suffering from gastritis or a calculus condition.

The leaves of the wood sorrel are used fresh or dried, boiled in water for five minutes to reduce fever and quench thirst. The plant also has diuretic properties, but it should be used sparingly by people suffering from gout or rheumatism as it contains Oxalic salts.

(Photograph taken 18/04/2003 ©2003-2008 Ryewolf)

Please be aware that this information is provided solely for informational purposes only. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to using any herbs or treatments made from herbs.

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