Ice Plant - Edible, Medicinal Succulent

in #medicinalherbs4 years ago

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

With its crystal-like fluid pockets on the surface of its leaves and it’s white to pink daisy-like flowers, this unique plant resembles an underwater anemone.


Native to Africa, ice plant was likely spread to North and South America by sailors who made ballast dumps, containing the plant, close to the shores. Potted ice plant was common on ships making long voyages. It was used to prevent and treat scurvy.

In the early 19th century, before commercially available soap and chemically synthesized sodium carbonate (soda), ice plant was used in the Canary Islands for making soap and producing soda. The crushed leaves of ice plant make an excellent soap substitute.

Culinary Ice Plant

The leaves, flowers and seeds of the plant are edible. There’s also a small fruit that is left behind by the flower, and it is also edible.
Ice plant is highly salt tolerant and actually draws the salt out of the ground. So, the leaves of the plant taste salty and are slightly acidic tasting.
The leaves of the plant can be stir fried, steamed or eaten raw. They can even be pickled like cucumbers!
I found a recipe I’m very interested in trying. I’m not sure what to call it, but here it is.

1/2 lb ice plant leaves
1/2 garlic clove minced as finely as possible
3 TB soy sauce
2 TB rice vinegar
1 TB sugar
1 TB oil
1 TB sesame oil
1 TB roasted sesame seeds - optional

Mix it all up and toss it with the ice plant leaves.

Easy peasy. :)


I’m going to send one of you some ice plant seeds! All you have to do is leave me a comment, and tell me why you want to grow it. That’s it. At payout time, I’ll choose a winner randomly. (Sorry, this contest is open only to those in the U.S.)

Medicinal Succulent

The medicinal claims for ice plant range from a treatment for psoriasis to a preventative for liver disease. Let’s look at some of the claims and studies.

In a study published by the U.S. Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, a cream made from ice plant showed significant dermatological effect in terms of moisture and softness when compared to basic skin creams.

In another study by The Laboratory of Galenic Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia and the Laboratory of Plant Adaptation to Abiotic Sresses, Center of Biotechnology of Borj Cédria (CBBC), Tunis, Tunisia, showed that Mesembryanthemum crystallinum has antioxidant and staff fighting antibacterial properties.

Research published by reports an antiobesity effect of ice plant. The study also shows that the plant is rich in pinitol which lowers blood sugar, and myo-inositol which prevents fatty liver disease. It also shows promise in the prevention or reduction of the symptoms of metabolic disease.

Many people use a face cream with the juices of the crushed leaves of ice plant to prevent aging and tone the skin.

I have never used ice plant medicinally, but I’m excited to add it to our home apothecary!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful week!

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I would like to grow this plant. I have fatty liver disease and had never heard of something that could combat it like this! I'm totally willing to give it a try.

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Oh, excellent!!

Yummy! I'd like to trying. I've never tried salty leaved green edibles. Sounds great in stir fry. What zones does it grow in?

I’m not sure how far north it’ll do well, but it does just fine in SW Missouri, I’m right on the cusp of 6a and 6b. I think it’s perennial starting in zone 8.

I love finding out about edible plants I'm not familiar with. Thanks for sharing!

Oh, me too! People are always amazed when they walk through my garden for the first time and I tell them about all the things that are edible. And I’m always looking for something new and different to add!

I am even newer than a garden newbie. Your posts and talking to my dad are inspiring me to see if I have a green thumb.

My green thumb come from an excitement to grow and connect to and harvest my own food, and a passion for learning about it. Essentially, seed, dirt, sun, water grows a plant. Of course there’s more to it, and there are things that can be done to grow bigger or more productive plants. But I really started with the seed+dirt+sun+water method, and learned from there.

I grew ice plant here in New England last year and it did well. I don't know if it will survive our harsh winters (-25F). Find out in the spring...

I grow it containers, so I don’t know how well it would over winter here either. It gets cold here, but not that cold, usually. But the threat isn’t over yet, and we do occasionally get that cold...

Wow great info - thanks for sharing - I always learn something from you :D

I’m so glad! I always hope that someone’s learning something after I do all that writing. lol

Hey, I nominated you for the 7 Day BnW Photo. Challenge. Here's the post. 😀

Hey @powellx5 I'm sorry I haven't taken you up on the challenge as yesterday was not a good day here. My dog got hit and killed. :( Maybe by the end of the week I might be in a better space.

Oh, @andysantics48. I’m so sorry! Don’t worry about the challenge. You can start it whenever. I’ll be praying and sending good vibes your way.

Thanks for understanding - I'm working on a poem about her :)

Oh, she was a beautiful girl. I’m watching for the poem. :)

What a beautiful and interesting plant! #growingislife

Great information @powellx5 the recipie sounds really neat. What would you pair it with? I have never heard of or seen this plant before!

You know, I hadn’t thought about it. I guess everything goes with chicken! lol

🤣 honestly! LOL 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️

The Ice plant is certainly new to me, but Baker Creek is where I always order my seeds I love the place!

I’ve ordered almost exclusively through Baker Creek for the last several years. Their customer service is outstanding and so close to home. I love the story of how the company started. And I super love the Planting Festival!

We are thinking about going to the may festival.

If you make it, we’ll have to get together for a handshake!

You always have the most unusual plants in your garden! You were the first person who posted about luffa gourds... and for that I am thankful.

My Gram teases me about all the ‘novelty’ things I grow. She’s all about the Early Girl and Straight 8s! Only the rugged and practical for my Gram! :D

Congats! Winner! I'll get these seeds in the mail today!

Well, shoot! Now I have to add this to the list of a zillion plants I need to try growing...

Zillions? I’ve only got room for gillions!

These Steemit articles have me all revved up about learning to use plants medicinally! Thanks for sharing. -Aimee

It’s a rabbit hole! I’m forever learning about something new and searching for a little corner to plant it in. I’ve learned a lot over the years on my own, but since I joined Steemit I’ve been learning about medicinal plants faster than I can write it all down!

Me too! I have been bookmarking like crazy. I can't wait to start planting and experimenting. Getting on our property feels like a slow motion journey with this many fun projects waiting on the back burner. -Aimee

Oh, I can imagine! I’m excited to follow along with y’all get goin’ on your property!

I always learn so much from your posts!! My reaction is always, oh oh there’s @powellx5!!!

This plant is very interesting!! Thank you for the research and educating us on the value of edibles.


Oh, man, what a compliment! I appriciate that very much!

I'm so glad you found it interesting. I'm always on the look out for something new and fun to plant. 😊

This one should definitely be fun and interesting for sure!

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