Crithmum (Sea fennel or Rock samphire)

Crithmum (Sea fennel or Rock samphire)

The alternative herb for food.

The Crithmum (kritamo in greek)  is also known by the names kramo, kritano, kritama, kirtama, krithamo, tritamo, armira.

It's an edible native plant that grows and thrives in soils with very high salinity as are found at the seaside, rocky or steep sandy places in Cyprus. It is very durable and is watered by the sea water. During the sunset you will notice the moisture that comes out of the sea and rains onto the rocks and sand. The plant needs no other watering.

In Cyprus we find it in coastal areas of Kormakitis, of Paralimni, at Paphos Castle, in Chlorakas and elsewhere. The plant seeds ripen from August to October. Young shoots and leaves are harvested from April to June and kept in brine. We use the leaves and seeds of the plant. The leaves are harvested before flowering.

Crithmum is known from ancient times. Famous Greeks such as Dioscorides, founder of pharmacology, and the Roman writer and botanist Pliny mentioned the plant and praised its properties. Since the days of Hippocrates, it has been considered to be one of the most important natural remedies. Used also as a diuretic and for detoxification, it is beneficial for the liver. The seeds of this plant are very similar to barley, which is why the ancient Greeks called "krithmon" (Crithmum).From the time of Hippocrates till the present day, it is considered to be one of the most important medicines nature offers us.

The Crithmum has been described by scientists as "food of the future" as it is rich in vitamin C, R and K, has essential oils (with good aphrodisiac properties), omega 3 also many minerals such as iodine. As well as having healing properties it acts as an appetizer, and a tonic. It’s delicious in  salad. The shoots and flowers can be fried  and put into omelettes.

A wonderful aroma is emitted when it is cut. I find its smell rather reminiscent of oregano, but the taste is more bitter and brackish. It has many nutrients found in fish and shellfish and provides an alternative for those who no longer wish to eat fish.

Drain it well and rub it down to make an awesome salt.

In cosmetics and creams, the extract from the plant is used  to regenerate wrinkles, help deal with brown spots, and provide shine and improved skin tone.

The essential oil of the herb should not be used by pregnant women.

We can use this powder instead of salt in salads and in various recipes.
Ingredients: Fresh Crithmum.
Preparation: The Crithmum should be dried in the sun until it become completely dry. Mill the dried Crithmum in blender. Place the powder in a jar. The powder remains salty.

The Crithmum should be marinated in vinegar like capers are.
Ingredients:3 cups kritamo
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons salt
1 cup water
Put plenty of water into the pot to boil. Pour the Crithmum, wait 10 to 15 seconds and then drain.
Put in a vase. Mix 3 tablespoons of salt to one cup of water and pour it into the jar with Crithmum. Fill with vinegar and water with the same amounts and close the jar.
Store the jar in a dark place. After 2 weeks it  is ready.



Crithmum (Sea fennel or Rock samphire)