Rock Samphire - History







"Crithmon (also called critamon)… The seed, root and leaves (boiled in wine and taken as a drink) are effective to help frequent painful urination and jaundice, and they induce the menstrual flow. It is used as a vegetable (eaten either boiled or raw), and it is also preserved in brine." 

Dioscorides the Greek

Dioscurides (40 – 90 AD):

"This plant is particularly useful for strangury, the leaves, stem, or root being taken in wine. It improves the complexion of the skin also, but if taken in excess is very apt to produce flatulency. Used in the form of a decoction it relaxes the bowels, has a diuretic effect, and carries off the humours from the kidneys."


Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AD):

William Shakespear (1564 – 1616 AD):


“Halfway down Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!”

William Shakespeare, King Lear

Nicholas Culpeper (1616 – 1654 AD):

"It is an herb of Jupiter and was in former times wont to be used more than now it is; the more the pity. It is well known, almost to every body, that ill digestions and obstructions are the cause of most of the diseases to which the frail nature of man is subject to; both which might be remedied by a more frequent use of this herb. If people would have sauce to their meat, they may make some profit as well as for pleasure. It is a safe herb, very pleasant both to taste and stomach, helping digestion, and in some sort opening obstructions of the liver and spleen; provokes urine, and helps thereby to wash away the gravel and stone engendered in the kidneys or bladder."

Culpepers complete Herbal and English Physician. Page 140

"The modern popular medicine and the herbal medicine ascribe the Chritmum various therapeutic properties; it is used as vermifuge and for improving the functionality of the liver or for the urinary insufficiency, as eupeptic, choleretic and galactogogue, as depurative and against the meteorism."

Text © Prof. Giorgio Venturini – English translation by Mario Beltramini


"Rock samphire is little used in herbal medicine, though it is a good diuretic and holds out potential as a treatment for obesity[254]. It has a high vitamin C and mineral content and is thought to relieve flatulence and to act as a digestive remedy[254]. The young growing tips are carminative, depurative, digestive and diuretic[7, 238]

They are gathered when in active growth in the spring and used fresh[7, 238]. The leaves have the reputation for helping people lose weight and so are used in treating cases of obesity as well kidney complaints and sluggishness[238]. The essential oil is a digestive, a few drops being sprinkled on the food[7]..»

Plants For A Future7

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