As a florist’s miscellaneous, the Selaginella seems to have the least chance of being a vegetable. However, a trip to a local organic fair proved otherwise: multiple types of Selaginella are also used as edible foliage plants, some as ground covers in terrariums or landscapes, and others doubling up as ferns for cut flowers and boutonniere. Despite the fact that there are more than 700 species, the Selaginella is relatively underused as its medicinal value is not yet fully recognized.
This spike moss contains a variety of compounds such as alkaloids, phenols and terpenoids, the main substance of which is biflavonoid, the type of which varies depending on the species. These compounds are the source of many positive effects.
For example, it is similar to shallots in that both have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-allergenic benefits. They improve heart health, lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. While shallots stimulate digestive enzymes, sea moss acts on metabolic proteins. However, both also protect against UV rays and blood clotting.
Like tea, it has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties; but it fares even better with antimicrobial resistance.
Natural Foods vs. Processed Health Foods
It’s important to emphasize that while a processed health food can duplicate the effects of natural foods, it should only be consumed occasionally. For example, there is a highly alkaline processed food made from 9 foods: job’s tears, buckwheat, oat bran, black sesame, white sesame, and Chinese yam. Despite its claims reflecting almost all of Selaginella’s health effects, it is not a substitute for the latter. Additionally, Selaginella is just a whole food, but with many chemical differences that work synergistically to target different biological targets.
Nicknamed the “resurrection plant,” spike moss becomes hydrated and active in wet conditions, or alternatively dries up and becomes dormant when drought sets in. For example, Selaginella bryopteriswhich grows in the Aravali Mountains of western India is most likely one of the reasons for this Sanjeevani, the magical herb that can cure any disease; and it is still taken today to prolong life. Yet another species, endemic mainly to Asia, Selaginella tamariscina, is a traditional medicinal plant used to treat advanced cancer patients. It is considered a modifier of gene expression and cytokine production and could be a chemopreventive candidate against gastric cancer.
Another miracle herb, black cumin (Nigella sativa) has a wide range of activities related to the immune and respiratory systems, stomach, liver and kidneys; and in relieving pain and spasms. All of these can complement the work of Selaginella and contribute to your overall well-being.
Thanks to Kez Sze