گیاه سماق از راسته افراسانان (Sapindales)، تیرهٔ پستهایان (Anacardiaceae) است.
سماق در قدیم سماک نیز تلفظ میشده و ریشهٔ واژه، ܣܘܡܩ سُمّاق سریانی است. درختچه سماق در شمیران، تفرش، خراسان، قم، محلات، شیراز، رودبار، تبریز، و باغات اقلید و بعضی از کشورهای خاورمیانه میروید. سماق برای دندان درد مفید است و اشتها را تحریک میکند. لثه را تقویت و از خونریزی معده جلوگیری میکند. به دلیل داشتن تانن فراوان قابض و پاک کننده معده میباشد. خوردن سماق تازه ایجاد مسمومیت میکند. همچنین سماق برای بیماران دیابتی بسیار مفید است. یکی از اجزای سفره هفت سین ایرانیان است. در یونان باستان از چوب سماق به جهت رنگآمیزی پارچههای پشمی استفاده میشده است و در کشور ایتالیا از این گیاه برای رنگ دادن به چرم نیز استفاده شده است.
Sumac (Assyrian Neo-Aramaic: ܣܘܼܡܵܩܵܐ, translit. summāqāʾ, lit. 'red, red shift, turning red'), Arabic: سمّاق, translit. summāq; //, // or //; also spelled sumach, sumaq) is any one of about 35 species of flowering plants in the genus Rhus and related genera, in the family Anacardiaceae. The dried and powdered fruits are used as a spice in Middle Eastern cuisine. Sumacs grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, especially in East Asia, Africa and North America.
Sumacs are shrubs and small trees that can reach a height of 1–10 m (3.3–32.8 ft). The leaves are spirally arranged; they are usually pinnately compound, though some species have trifoliate or simple leaves. The flowers are in dense panicles or spikes 5–30 cm (2.0–11.8 in) long, each flower very small, greenish, creamy white or red, with five petals. The fruits form dense clusters of reddish drupes called sumac bobs. The dried drupes of some species are ground to produce a tangy crimson spice.
The taxonomy of Rhus has a long history, with de Candolle proposing a subgeneric classification in 1825, with five sections. At its largest circumscription Rhus, with over 250 species, has been the largest genus in the family Anacardiaceae.
Other authors used subgenera and placed some species in separate genera, hence the use of Rhus sensu lato and Rhus sensu stricto (s.s.). One classification uses two subgenera, Rhus (~ 10 spp.) and Lobadium (~25 spp.), while at the same time Cotinus, Duckera, Malosma, Metopium, Searsia and Toxicodendron segregated to create Rhus s.s.. Other genera that have been segregated include Actinocheita and Baronia. As defined, Rhus s.s. appears monophyletic by molecular phylogeny research. However the subgenera do not appear to be monophyletic. The larger subgenus, Lobadium, has been divided further into sections, Lobadium, Terebinthifolia and Styphonia (two subsections).
Cultivation and uses
Species including the fragrant sumac (R. aromatica), the littleleaf sumac (R. microphylla), the skunkbush sumac (R. trilobata), the smooth sumac, and the staghorn sumac are grown for ornament, either as the wild types or as cultivars.
Spice and beverage flavoring
The fruits (drupes) of the genus Rhus are ground into a reddish-purple powder used as a spice in Middle Eastern cuisine to add a tart, lemony taste to salads or meat. In Arab cuisine, it is used as a garnish on meze dishes such as hummus and tashi, and is added to salads in the Levant, as well as being one of the main ingredients in Palestine's national dish, Musakhan. In Iranian, Afghan and Kurdish cuisines, sumac is added to rice or kebab. In Jordanian and Turkish cuisines, it is added to salad-servings of kebab and lahmajoun. Rhus coriaria is used in the spice mixture za'atar.
In North America, the smooth sumac (R. glabra) and the staghorn sumac (R. typhina) are sometimes used to make a beverage termed "sumac-ade", "Indian lemonade", or "rhus juice". This drink is made by soaking the drupes in cool water, rubbing them to extract the essence, straining the liquid through a cotton cloth, and sweetening it. Native Americans also use the leaves and drupes of the smooth and staghorn sumacs combined with tobacco in traditional smoking mixtures.
Dye and tanning agent
The leaves of certain sumacs yield tannin (mostly pyrogallol-type), a substance used in vegetable tanning. Notable sources include the leaves of R. coriaria, Chinese gall on R. chinensis, and wood and roots of R. pentaphylla. Leather tanned with sumac is flexible, light in weight, and light in color. One type of leather made with sumac tannins is morocco leather.
The dyeing property of sumac needed to be considered when it was shipped as a fine floury substance in sacks as a light cargo accompanying heavy cargoes such as marble. Sumac was "especially dangerous" to marble. "When sumac dust settles on white marble, the result is not immediately apparent; but if it once becomes wet, or even damp, it becomes a powerful purple dye, which penetrates the marble to an extraordinary depth."
Sumac was used as a treatment for half a dozen different ailments in medieval medicine, primarily in Middle-Eastern countries (where sumac was more readily available than in Europe). An 11th-century shipwreck off the coast of Rhodes, excavated by archeologists in the 1970s, contained commercial quantities of sumac drupes. These could have been intended for use as medicine, as a culinary spice, or as a dye. Staghorn sumac is a powerful antioxidant, with ORAC rating over 1500 μmol TE/g.
Some beekeepers use dried sumac bobs as a source of fuel for their smokers.
Sumac stems also have a soft pith in the center that is easily removed to make them useful in traditional Native American pipemaking. They were commonly used as pipe stems in the northern United States.
Toxicity and control
Some species formerly recognized in Rhus, such as poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans, syn. Rhus toxicodendron), poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum, syn. Rhus diversiloba) and poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix, syn. Rhus vernix), have the allergen urushiol and can cause severe allergic reactions. Poison sumac may be identified by its white drupes, which are quite different from the red drupes of true Rhus species.
Mowing of sumac is not a good control measure, since the wood is springy, resulting in jagged, sharp-pointed stumps when mown. The plant will quickly recover with new growth after mowing. Goats have long been considered an efficient and quick removal method, as they eat the bark, which helps prevent new shoots. Sumac propagates by rhizome. Small shoots will be found growing near a more mature sumac tree via a shallow running root quite some distance from the primary tree. Thus root pruning is a means of control without eliminating the species altogether.