Rhus coriaria

Rhus coriaria, commonly called Sicilian sumac, tanner's sumach, or elm-leaved sumach, is a deciduous shrub to small tree in the Anacardiaceae or cashew family, native to southern Europe. The dried fruits are used as a spice, particularly in combination with other spices in the mixture called za'atar.

The fruit has a sour taste; dried and crushed, it is a popular spice in the Middle East. Immature fruits (as caper substitute) and seeds are also eaten. It is traditionally used and also clinically investigated for lipid lowering effects. The leaves and the bark were traditionally used in tanning and contain tannic acid. Dyes of various colors, red, yellow, black, and brown, can be made from different parts of the plant. Oil extracted from the seeds can be used to make candles.

Scientific studies indicate Rhus coriaria is capable to protect the liver, is antimicrobial and exhibits a strong antioxidant activity which is rich in anthocyanins and hydrolysable tannins. Unlike the similiarly named poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), there are no reactions from Rhus coriaria documented in medical literature.

This month CVHS is not publishing a herb of the month recipe in favor of our July CVHS potluck member recipes series.

in parts by Wikipedia

Photo by Dedda71 (Wikipedia)