Sumac herb health benefit by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
February 17 2016

Sumac spice is extracted from the berries of a bush that grows wild in the Mediterranean region, especially southern Italy and parts of the Middle East. Sumac spice is not the same as poison sumac.

Benefit of Sumac
Sumac has antimicrobial and antioxidant activity and could be helpful in blood sugar control.

Acta Pol Pharm. 2013. Rhus coriaria ameliorates insulin resistance in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) rats.

Breast cancer
Sci Rep. 2015. Rhus coriaria induces senescence and autophagic cell death in breast cancer cells through a mechanism involving p38 and ERK1/2 activation. Our findings provide strong evidence that sumac herb possesses strong anti-breast cancer activity through induction of senescence and autophagic cell death, making it a promising alternative or adjunct therapeutic candidate against breast cancer.

High quality herbs and spices to purchase
There are a number of herbs and spices that have great health benefit including basil, chamomile, cinnamon, curcumin, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, licorice, peppermint oil, turmeric, and thyme. These are all available as dietary supplements in capsules or tablets. See the link below.

Sumac Spice study
Effects of Rhus coriaria (Anacardiaceae) on lipid peroxidation and free radical scavenging activity.
Phytother Res. 2004.
In order to evaluate the antioxidant potential of Rhus coriaria (Anacardiaceae), a well-known spice, the methanolic extract (water-soluble part) was prepared and investigated using free radical-generating systems in vitro. The IC(50) value of the extract for lipid peroxidation was estimated as 1200 microg/mL in the Fe(+2)-ascorbate system while those for superoxide-scavenging activity in the xanthine-xanthine oxidase method and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity in the deoxyribose decomposition method were 282.92 microg/mL and 3850 microg/mL, respectively. These data suggest that the methanolic extracts of Rhus coriaria L. fruits have considerable antioxidant activity against free radicals and lipid peroxidation in vitro, a fact that may encourage in vivo studies.

Antioxidant activities of rosemary herb, sage, and sumac extracts and their combinations on stability of natural peanut oil.
J Med Food. 2003.
The antioxidant efficacy of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), sage (Salvia fruticosa L.), and sumac (Rhus coriaria L.) extracts and combinations at 4% concentrations (wt/vol, extract/oil) were investigated. Methanolic extracts of rosemary, sage, sumac, and their combinations were applied to peanut oil stored at 80 degrees C for 24 h. The antioxidant effect was determined by measuring the peroxide value. All extracts showed antioxidant effects compared with control. But the antioxidant effect of all extracts was low compared with that of butylated hydroxytoluene. Rosemary extract (except for 3 and 4 h) exhibited the most antioxidant effect compared with other individual extracts. Of blends, the most effective ones were sage plus sumac combinations. Sumac extract is also promising as a source of natural antioxidants.

Effect of Rhus coriaria (Anacardiaceae) on superoxide radical scavenging and xanthine oxidase activity.
J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2003.
Rhus coriaria L. (Anacardiaceae) is a well-known spice in the Middle-East and grown in the Central and East Anatolia region of Turkey. A methanolic extract (water-soluble part constituents) of R. coriaria, was found to be an uncompetitive inhibitor of xanthine oxidase and scavenger of superoxide radical in vitro with IC50 values of 172.5 microg/mL and 232 microg/mL respectively. Superoxide radicals were generated either by an enzymatic or a non-enzymatic system, and scavenging ability was evaluated by the inhibition of nitroblue tetrazolium reduction. This study provides evidence that a crude extract of R. coriaria exhibits interesting antioxidant properties, expressed either by the capacity to scavenge superoxide radical or to uncompetitively inhibit xanthine oxidase.

Sumac spice versus Poison
Sumac spice (Rhus coriaria) should not be confused with the plant that causes the skin rash poison ivy (Rhus toxicodendron).

Q. Can sumac be used the same day as curcumin spice or thyme supplements? What about using it together with Bioperine supplements.
   A. Sure, we don't see any problems using it together with other spices or spice extracts as long as the dosages are low.