Sumac (Rhus coriaria L.) a spice and medicinal plant – a mini review


Mehdi Khoshkharam, Mohamad Hesam Shahrajabian, Wenli Sun and Qi Cheng


Sumac is a famous spice in the Middle East, which is made from berries from a bush of the same name. In order to produce the spice from the plant, its fruit is dried and crushed into a thin red-purple powder. The red berries are tangy and delicious, containing malic acid which is found in apples. As a spice, it is delicious on meat, in salad dressings, and makes a delicious infused vinegar if you macerate it in apple cider vinegar. The most important phenolic acids and flavonoids are catechin, ferulic acid, gallic acid, apigenin, gentisic acid, chlorogenic acid, P-coumaric acid, caffeic acid, isorhamnetin, quercetin, cinnamic acid, taxifolin, epicatechin, kaempferol, P-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid, vanillin, anisic acid, pyrogallol, sinapic acid, syringaldehyde, syringic acid and benzoic acid. Organic acids of Sumac are malic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid and fumaric acid. The fatty acid composition of sumac fruits are myristic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid and linolenic acid. The vitamin content of sumac fruits are thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, cyanocobalamin, nicotinamide, biotin, and ascorbic acid. The most important health benefits of sumac are 1) anti-cancer: a super anti-oxidant, and packed with vitamin C which means it can help ward off diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, 2) anti-inflammatory: inflammation is thought to be the cause of most diseases and Sumac is an anti-inflammatory spice that helps fight various disorders, colds and the Flu, 3) it has been studies to be effective in regulating cholesterol levels and treating diabetes by reducing blood sugar, 4) anti-fungal and anti-microbial: Sumac is anti-microbial and anti-fungal spice which can help treat skin inflammation and disorders, it has also been studied to be effective in fighting bacteria like Salmonella and can be used to safely disinfect fruits and vegetables, 5) it can increase breast milk production and ease menstrual cramps, 6) Sumac is a diuretic which means it helps remove toxins from the body through urine and has been used traditionally to treat urine infections and digestive problems.


Sumac, Functional Food, Herbal Remedy, Traditional Medicine

Amaz. Jour. of Plant Resear. 4(2): 517-523. June 2020
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