Latin Name: Rhus coriaria
Sumac is an plant long used for cardiac health and weight loss. A few human studies were found on the hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic, and hypotensive actions of sumac. It is also being studied for its antimicrobial and antioxidant potential. The plant is high in anthocyanin and tannin content.
- Some species of Rhus are highly poisonous
- Avoid if allergic to cashews.
- More research is needed on safe amounts and possible contraindications.
ANTIFUNGAL / ANTIBACTERIAL
- The following plants showed antifungal activity against the nine species tested in vitro: Alnus rubra catkins (red alder tree), Artemisia ludoviciana (mugwort) aerial parts, Artemisia tridentata aerial parts, Geum macrophyllum roots, Mahonia aquifolium roots (oregon grape), Moneses uniflora aerial parts, Asarum caudatum whole plant (wild ginger), Balsamorhiza sagittata roots (arrowleaf balsamroot), Empetrum nigrum branches (crowberry), Fragaria chiloensis leaves (strawberry), Gilia aggregata aerial parts and roots, Glehnia littoralis roots, Heracleum lanatum roots (Indian celery), Heuchera cylindrica roots and Rhus glabra branches (sumac). From: McCutcheon, A. R., Ellis, S. M., Hancock, R. E. W., & Towers, G. H. N. (1994). Antifungal screening of medicinal plants of British Columbian native peoples. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 44(3), 157-169.
- Sumac showed antibacterial action against pathogenic food bacteria. From: Nasar-Abbas, S. M., & Halkman, A. K. (2004). Antimicrobial effect of water extract of sumac (Rhus coriaria L.) on the growth of some food borne bacteria including pathogens. International journal of food microbiology, 97(1), 63-69.
- Alnus rubra bark and catkins (red alder), Fragaria chiloensis leaves (strawberry), Moneses uniflora aerial parts, and Rhus glabra branches (sumac) showed the strongest antibacterial activity against 11 strains tested. From: McCutcheon, A. R., Ellis, S. M., Hancock, R. E. W., & Towers, G. H. N. (1992). Antibiotic screening of medicinal plants of the British Columbian native peoples. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 37(3), 213-223.
- In a randomized double blind study of 172 patients with high LDL cholesterol, taking 20mg a day of a sumac extract along with statins reduced LDL cholesterol significantly more than with just taking the statins alone. From: Rouhi-Boroujeni, H., Mosharraf, S., Gharipour, M., Asadi-Samani, M., & Rouhi-Boroujeni, H. (2016). Antihyperelipidemic effects of sumac (Rhus coriaria L.): Can sumac strengthen anti-hyperlipidemic effect of statins. Der Pharm Lett, 8(3).
- In a randomized double blind clinical trial of 80 patients with hypertension, taking a sumac supplement for 8 weeks reduced blood pressure over placebo. From: Ardalani, H., Moghadam, M. H., Rahimi, R., Soltani, J., Mozayanimonfared, A., Moradi, M., & Azizi, A. (2016). Sumac as a novel adjunctive treatment in hypertension: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Rsc Advances, 6(14), 11507-11512.
- In this double blind randomized clinical trial of 41 patients with type 2 diabetes, 3g a day of sumac powder over 3 months significantly reduced blood sugar levels. From: Shidfar, F., Rahideh, S. T., Rajab, A., Khandozi, N., Hosseini, S., Shidfar, S., & Mojab, F. (2014). The effect of sumac (Rhus coriaria L.) Powder on Serum Glycemic Status, ApoB, ApoA-I and total antioxidant capacity in type 2 diabetic patients. Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research: IJPR, 13(4), 1249.
- Both sumac (Rhus coriaria L.) and black cumin (Bunium persicum Boiss) extracts showed hypoglycemic activity in vitro. From: Giancarlo §, S., Rosa §, L. M., Nadjafi, F., & Francesco, M. (2006). Hypoglycaemic activity of two spices extracts: Rhus coriaria L. and Bunium persicum Boiss. Natural product research, 20(9), 882-886.
By: Kathy Sadowski