Rhus coriaria is also known as sumac or sumach. You consume the purplish-red fruits, which usually are sold dried and ground. You’ll find it as a supplement in tablet or capsule form. The theoretical health benefits from Rhus coriaria are as an antioxidant, antifungal agent and antimicrobial agent. Always consult a health-care provider before trying a new health supplement.
Rhus coriaria has strong antioxidant activity against cell-damaging free radicals, say F. Candan and A. Sökmen, authors of a 2004 study published in “Phytotherapy Research.” Antioxidants work by helping to neutralize free radicals, which contribute to health problems such as cancer and heart disease, and also contribute to the aging process. The antioxidant effects of Rhus coriaria appear to be dose-dependent, notes M. Ozcan, lead author for a 2003 study published in the “Journal of Medicinal Food.” However, both of these studies were done in laboratory settings, so more research is needed to see if Rhus coriaria will provide a benefit to humans.