This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
MEDICINAL PART. The whole herb.
Description. -- This is a small perennial herb, with a creeping and scaly-toothed root-stock. The leaves are numerous, radical and on long, weak, hairy stalks; leaflets broadly obcordate, and of yellowish-green color. Flowers white, yellowish at the base, and scentless. Fruit a five-lobed, oblong capsule.
History. -- It is indigenous to Europe and this country, growing in woody and shady places, and flowering from April to June. It is inodorous, and has a pleasantly acid taste. The acidity is due to oxalic acid, which, in combination with potassa, forms the binoxolate of that alkali. The "Salts of Sorrel," formerly so much used to remove ink-spots and iron-marks from linen, is merely this salt separated from the plant.
Properties and Uses. -- Cooling and diuretic; useful in febrile diseases, hemorrhages, gonorrhoea, chronic catarrh, urinary affections, scurvy, etc. Care is to be observed in its use.
RUMEX ACETOSA, or Garden Sorrel, RUMEX ACETOSELLA, or Sheep Sorrel, and RUMEX VESICARIUS possess similar qualities.