Sumac is a wonderful plant. There is the Western variety, Rhus typhina (you may also come across R. hirta or R. coriaria, all these varieties have similar properties) and there is the Eastern, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) variety, called Chinese sumac (Wu Bei Zi/R. chinensis).
The Western varieties make use of the plant’s leaves and red berries and the TCM variety is actually a gallnut formed by the insect Maliphis. Eastern or Western sumacs are astringent, anti-inflammatory, and contain powerful antioxidants.
Western sumac is commonly used as a culinary spice in Middle Eastern cooking and as a medicinal herb to prevent heart disease, stabilize blood sugar, ease muscle pain, and reduce bone loss.
Chinese sumac is similarly used and is also famous for its ability to Clear Damp, supporting kidney and immune system functions. It is commonly used to treat kidney or bladder infections.
Here are a few facts about sumac (Eastern or Western!):
- Sumac is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices available.
- Both the leaves and berries of Western sumac have antibacterial properties that have been shown to help fight E. coli and other respiratory and intestinal bacteria
- Sumac (Eastern or Western) has excellent diuretic functions that help to move deep, stagnant water out of the body, reducing edema and water retention. It is very useful for reducing swollen tissues and even varicose veins.
- Rich in a wide variety of polyphenols and flavonoids, it helps lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar, and reduce bone loss.
- Sumac is said to help support tolerance and patience. It is a symbol for reactivating your life in a way that brings harmony and peace.
Find out more about Sumac (Wu Bei Zi / Yan Fu Zi).