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What is sumac? Sumac is a spice of Arabic cuisine with anti-inflammatory properties

What is sumac

What is sumac?

[Sumac] a spice obtained from the Rhus coriaria plant. A shrub with reddish-green leaves, widespread in the Iberian Peninsula since the Arabs brought food and as a dye. The sumac plant’s small red fruits or berries are dried and ground, thus obtaining a powder of intense red color, delicate and acidic flavor. Sumac shrubs currently cultivated in many areas of the Middle East, North America, and Africa.

 Sumac is a spice of Arabic cuisine with anti-inflammatory properties

With this exotic name, the sumac is not a stranger in our land, here known as sumac, and the plant and the fruits have been used in cooking and to give a deep red fabric in ancient times.

The acid flavor of [sumac] and the red color makes this spice a unique ingredient to give the taste and color of dishes an intense lemon flavor that

It generally sold in powder form, and little by little, it is reaching our markets, with the resurgence of Arab cuisine, which deep down, and if we investigate a little in our history, never left, from marzipan to some salads and stews. Of our land, they are of Arab origin.

What dishes can I add [sumac] to?

That is to say, this spice is used in everything sprinkled in vegetables, meats, poultry, and grilled fish, to intensify its flavor with its acidity. It also added to sauces like hummus and is one of the ingredients in some spice mixes like za’atar.


  • It is a powerful antioxidant. Help fight free radicals and slow down the damage they cause to cells.
  • It fights fungal infections, especially Aspergillus flavus, which can cause lung infection and shortness of breath.
  • It is an antiseptic spice, which helps fight infections by bacteria and viruses, according to a study conducted at Hacettepe University in Turkey in 2010. By adding it to food, it has shown that it can prevent foodborne infection by Salmonella typhimurium.
  • Helps control glucose, very useful in cases of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and problems of overweight and obesity.
  • A cardiovascularspice that prevents weight gain balances cholesterol, and protects arteries.
  • [It is a diuretic;] it helps control blood pressure and eliminate toxic substances in the kidneys;[it reduces bladder inflammation.]
  • [It is digestive.] In the Middle East, it use’s as an infusion for stomach aches and pains.
  • It has anti-cancerIts composition is being studied for the treatment of some types of tumors, such as breast.
  • In the Arab tradition, women use [sumac] tea to relieve menstrual crampsand increase milk production.
  • It is anti-inflammatory, it helps to relieve pain and inflammation in joint problems.


In addition to adding the [sumac] species to your dishes for its flavor and color, you can make an infusion or tea of ​[​sumac] with the red powder and lemon juice to prevent and fight respiratory and stomach infections and reduce inflammation and pain after intense workouts.

Lebanese fattoush salad recipe with [sumac]

Fattoush salad recipe

Try adding zaatar mix to fattoush, an easy-to-make, light Lebanese salad to which pita bread added to the combination of lettuce, spearmint, parsley, tomato, cucumber, radish, and onion.

The chopped pita bread adds a different touch to this salad, and the [sumac] gives the tangy lemon flavor. Interesting combination.

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