Sumac (also spelled sumach) is a flowering plant in the genus Rhus coriara and related genera, in the family Anacardiaceae. Sumacs are very small trees or shrubs which grow scarlet fruits representing drupes that are called sumac bobs. Drupes are usually dried and then grinded for the production of a tangy reddish spice.
Sumac is an exquisite and kind of rare spice that should be used more often in the kitchen of every family. This sophisticated seasoning has a slightly tart and fruity taste. It’s rather popular in the Arabian kitchen and Turkey, where it’s a vital ingredient in the flavoring of döner kebab or rice recipes. The sumac spice can also be blended with onion for a great appetizer or added along with wild thyme in a seasoning Jordanian mixture called “zahtar”. In countries such as Syria, Egypt and Lebanon, sumac fruits are often boiled in water until they become a thick tarty essence that adds a marvelous taste to vegetables or meat and serves as a vinegar substitute. Sumac is a part of many salad dressings and is used for the making of meat and fish marinates. Kebab dishes are often served with a delicious sauce made with sumac and yoghurt. This crimson condiment can be also blended with olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, canola oil (or with every other cooking oil for that matter) for a splendid paste that is usually spread on bread before baking. So if you’re impressed by this fine condiment and want to have it in your kitchen cupboard, we recommend you supply yourself with its purest form by getting the Spicely organic Sumac spice! You get to consume only the best pesticide-free, herbicide-free and gluten-free sumac.
Besides being a great culinary ingredient, sumac is also used across the globe for its potential medicinal properties since the medieval times and is a fine natural health supplement.
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Health benefits of Sumac:
- The sumac berries are an excellent diuretic that helps dealing with bowel complaints and relieving stomach aches.
- Sumac can be a natural anti-inflammatory means. It soothes skin inflammations, reduces fever and helps relieve arthritis. It has a healing influence on respiratory issues such as flues, colds and bronchitis.
- Furthermore, this fruity spice has antimicrobial qualities. A carried out study published in international Journal of Food Microbiology hints at sumac’s antimicrobial activity that has the potential to fight Salmonella bacteria. Sumac extract mixed with water can be used for killing microbes and bacteria on vegetables and fruits. In another study published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology, anti-microbial properties of sumac were attributed to presence of methyl gallic acid, gallic acid and other compounds.
- Sumac is full of vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids, therefore it also has antioxidant activity, it helps prevent strokes and strengthens the cardiovascular system. The red berries battle free radicals in the body, mostly in the gastro intestinal tract. The antioxidant activity of the Rhus coriaria plant has been documented in the Journal of Medicinal Food and the International Journal of Phytotherapy Research.
- Sumac bears antifungal properties too. Its effectiveness against Aspergillosis has been backed up in the German bioscience journal Zeitschrift Fuer Naturforschung.
- More researches and studies are needed to firmly conclude more of sumac’s health benefits, but scientists suggest that it may be efficacious in cases of hyperglycemia, obesity and diabetes. There are certain experiments focusing on its anti-tumor properties.