Notes (Common Saltwort):
for though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much sope.
Jeremiah 2:22 (KJV)
The alkaline salts used in soap manufacture during biblical times were said to be obtained by burning the plants of the saltwort. Salsola kali is probably the most common of 20 kinds of saltwort in the Holy Land. Soap was made by mixing such ashes with olive oil, instead of animal fat. Glass is also made therefrom, because of the high alkali content.
Common Names (Common Saltwort):
Barilla Plant (Eng.; HOC); Barrela Borda (Cat.; KAB); Barrila Borde (Sp.; USN); Barrila Pinchosa (Sp.; USN); Barrilha-Espinhosa (Por.; USN); Barrilheira (Por.; USN); Carqueja Brava (Mad.; Por.; JAD); Common Saltwort (Eng.; USN); Eestridge (Eng.; KAB); Elkali (Arab.; KAB); Erba Kali (Malta; KAB); Espinardo (Sp.; KAB); Glasswort (Eng.; HOC; JLH); Hurd (Arab.; Syria; HJP); Jaghun (Jhalawan; Kharan; KAB); Kalikraut (Ger.; USN); Kali Salzkraut (Ger.; USN); Kelpwort
(Eng.; KAB); Marie Épineuse (Fr.; KAB); Marie Vulgaire (Fr.; KAB); Mata Pinchuda (Sp.; KAB); Pincho (Sp.; KAB); Prickly Saltwort (Eng.; HJP; KAB; USN); Riscolo (It.; KAB); Russian Thistle (Eng.; HOC; USN); Russian. Tumble Weed (S. Afr.; KAB); Sajji Butti (Pun.; SKJ); Sea Thrift (Eng.; KAB); Shawk Ahmar (Arab.; Syria; HJP); Soda (Malta; KAB); Sonde Commun (Fr.; KAB); Sowdwort (Eng.; KAB); Tumbleweed (Eng.; X15696348).
Activities (Common Saltwort):
Allergenic (1; X15808117); Anthelmintic (f; WOI); Antiseptic (f; BIB; HJP); Cathartic (f; WOI); Diuretic (f; WOI); Emmenagogue (f; WOI); Poison (f; DAW); Stimulant (f; WOI); Vulnerary (f; HJP).
Indications (Common Saltwort):
Amenorrhea (f; WOI); Cancer (f; JLH); Constipation (f; WOI); Dropsy (f; DAW); Excrescence (f; JLH); Infection (f; HJP); Worm (f; KAB; SKJ; WOI); Wound (f; BIB).
Dosages (Common Saltwort):
Food farmacy. Young shoots edible (TAN). Roots eaten as starvation food during the Great Depression (HOC).
• East Indians use the ashes as a therapeutic antiseptic dressing (BIB).
• Lebanese apply the ash to wounds to prevent infection (HJP).
Downsides (Common Saltwort):
A major cause of hay fever (HOC).
Natural History (Common Saltwort):
Although said to be toxic in quantity, still camels, goats, and horses are said to graze it (BIB). peelu (salvadora persica l.) ++ salvadoraceae
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Matthew 13:31-32 (KJV)
Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches."
Matthew 13:31-32 (RSV)
Another illustration he set before them, saying, "The kingdom of the heavens is like a mustard grain which a man took and planted in his field; which is, in fact, the tiniest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the largest of the vegetables and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and find lodging among its branches."
Matthew 13:31-32 (NWT)
Zohary favors Brassica nigra, the black mustard, as the grain of mustard seed in the Bible. He does not consider Moringa or Salvadora, which both have seeds bigger than Brassica but do grow into shrubs or small trees. Both of these tropical tree species are found in the tropical vegetation found at the mouths of the Aravah and Jordan valleys (ZOH). A little late in my research, I found a "new" (actually an over 100-year-old) reference (DEP) where we read that Royle had speculated that Salvadora persica was indeed the Mustard Tree of the Bible (I have speculated it was the Horseradish tree (Moringa). Indeed, Watt (author of DEP) labeled the plant "The Mustard Tree of the Bible." He notes that the small red berries are strongly aromatic and pungent, like mustard or cress, and not much appreciated by the natives of India. The pungent shoots and leaves are eaten as a salad (DEP). According to UPW, it is popular among the Mohammedens because the prophet himself is said to have used the plant to clean his teeth and to relieve toothache (UPW). Small wonder that Saudi studies have confirmed that it works better than a toothbrush (X15560804). PubMed has more than a dozen citations relating to antiseptic and/or dental applications of the species.
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