Salicornia is an asparagus-like superfood that grows along the coasts of Asia, Europe, and North America. Also known as Samphire, Sea Asparagus, Crow's foot, or Sea beans, Salicornia is a member of the halophyte family giving it the rare ability to tolerate salt water environments.
In the 17th century, Salicornia was consumed by sailors who believed it could boost their immune systems. It was also used in Korean traditional medicine to improve digestion and treat diabetes. But what are its true benefits?
Today, labs have identified Vitamin B3, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium, Iodine, Potassium, Chlorophyll and other bioavailable nutrients in Salicornia. Researchers have also discovered a number of health benefits:
- Several studies have identified antioxidant (Kim 2009), anti‐inflammatory (Kang 2013), antidiabetic (Park 2006), and anticancer activities (Kong 2008).
- (Zhang 2015) investigated the effects of salt derived from Salicornia on blood pressure in rats. Notably, the results showed that, while common salt induced high blood pressure, the Salicornia salt did not. Despite both groups of rats receiving the same amount of sodium, the salicornia rats were protected against hypertension and oxidative stress.
These studies suggest that 17th century sailors and Korean folk doctors weren't far off from the truth. With evidence for the health benefits of Salicornia growing, the future looks bright for this salty and tasty plant.
Want to see how Salicornia can benefit your health? Green Salt is made from 100% dehydrated organic Salicornia. You can use Green Salt to replace your cooking salt in any dish!
- Kang H, Koppula S, Park TK. 2013. Salicornia bigelovii Torr attenuates neuro‐inflammatory responses in lipopolysaccharide‐induced BV‐2 microglia by regulation of NF‐kappa B signaling. Trop J Pharm Res 12(6): 897– 903.
- Kim YA, Kong CS, Um YR, Lim SY, Yea SS, Seo Y. 2009. Evaluation of Salicornia herbacea as a potential antioxidant and anti‐inflammatory agent. J Med Food 12(3): 661– 8.
- Kong CS, Kim YA, Kim MM, Park JS, Kim JA, Kim SK, Lee BJ, Nam TJ, Seo Y. 2008. Flavonoid glycosides isolated from Salicornia herbacea inhibit matrix metalloproteinase in HT1080 cells. Toxicol In Vitro 22(7): 1742– 8.
- Zhang S, Wei M, Cao C, Ju Y, Deng Y, Ye T, Xia Z, Chen M. 2015. Effect and mechanism of Salicornia bigelovii Torr plant salt on blood pressure in SD rats. Food Funct 6(3): 920– 6.