Rhus coriaria L. (Sumac) has been used as folk medicine since ancient times. Rhus genus has over 91 of accepted species names in the Anacardiaceae family, Rhus coriaria L. is the only species in Iraq that growth wildly and/or cultivated near the villages in the north of Iraq. It has a characteristic taste and morphological features, making it to be considered as one of the popular flavoring spice, drink, appetizer, and as acidulant in food recipes, in addition to its role as plant medicine. A scrutiny of literature revealed some notable pharmacological activities of the plant such as antioxidant, anti-ischemic, antimicrobial as well as hypoglycemic and hypolipidimic effects. This chapter attempts to comprise the published obtainable literatures on Rhus coriaria with respect to its pharmacognostic characters, ethanobotanical/traditional uses, chemical constituents and summary of its various pharmacological activities, clinical effects, functional food industries and dentistry.
Part of the book: Herbs and Spices