Wood sorrel may be growing in your garden. It looks like a small clover with yellow flowers; low growing and liking shady parts of your garden. In summer it produces “pickles,” or seed pods (that look like tiny pickles.) The whole plant can be used by cutting and brewing as a tea. It has some pain relieving properties and is great for stimulating stomach digestion thus is helpful for heartburn and mild liver problems. The young leaves, which have a sour taste can be added to a salad. Not too many or it can become irritating. A friend who spend many years as a missionary in Honduras told of a paste made from wood sorrel that was used on skin cancers. The pickles are gathered and ground with a little vegetable glycerine then left in a jar in the sun until it turns black. This is then applied to the skin lesion and it apparently eats it away. There are many different sorrels (with different colored flowers) and they are all part of a larger family called Oxalis. You may recognize Oxalis around St. Patrick’s Day as they are potted and sold as the Shamrock plant.
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