A florist sundry, the selaginella appears to have the remotest chance of being a vegetable. However, a trip to a local organic foods fair proved otherwise, that: several species of Selaginella are also used as edible greens, some as a groundcover plant in terrariums or landscapes, and others double as ferns for cut flowers and corsages. Despite the fact that there are more than 700 species, the Selaginella is relatively underutilized as its medicinal value is not yet fully realized.
This spikemoss contains a variety of compounds such as alkaloids, phenol and terpenoids, the main substance of which is biflavonoid, whose type varies according to the species. These compounds are the source of many beneficial effects.
For instance, it is similar to shallots, as both have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-allergen benefits. They improve heart health, lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. While shallots stimulate digestive enzymes, spikemoss affects metabolism proteins. However, both protect against UV rays and blood clotting as well.
Like tea, it has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties; but it does even better with antimicrobial resistance.
Natural Food vs Processed Health Food
It is imperative to assert here that while a processed health food may duplicate the work of natural foods, it should only be taken occasionally. For instance, there is a high alkaline processed food made from 9 foods: job’s tears, buck wheat, oat bran, black sesame, white sesame and Chinese yam. Despite Its claims that mirror almost all the health effects of selaginella, it is no substitute for the latter. Furthermore, selaginella is just one whole food but with many chemical diversities that work synergetically to target various biological targets.
Bearing the sobriquet ‘resurrection plant’, spikemoss gets hydrated and active under wet conditions, or alternatively dries out and becomes dormant when dryness takes over. For example, Selaginella bryopteris, growing on the Aravali Mountains in western India, is most likely to be Sanjeevani, the magical herb which can heal any malady; and it is still taken to extend lifespan this day. Yet another species endemic to mostly Asia, Selaginella tamariscina, is a traditional medicinal plant for treating advanced cancer patients. Considered to be a gene expression and cytokine production modifier, it could be a chemopreventive candidate against gastric cancer.
Another miracle herb, Black seed (Nigella sativa) has a wide spectrum of activities related to immune and respiratory systems, stomach, liver and kidney; and in relieving pain and spasms. All these may complement the work of selaginella, and contribute to your overall wellness.