Slender saltwort is a heavily branched, ball-shaped plant with fine branching, which is tender at first and later becomes woody. The rounded stems are variegated, covered with pink stripes. Leaves filiform, long, semi-cylindrical, widened at the base. Hair covers the entire leaf. In height, the plant tends to grow up to 100 cm. Flowers green-white or pink, small, both sexes. The plant blooms from June to September, the seeds ripen already in August.
The yield of the plant is difficult to predict in the wild, therefore this plant is often cultivated. This also ensures that the chemical composition of the plant does not change, which often happens to plants growing in the wild.
Slender saltwort contains antioxidants, including tocopherols, flavonoids - quercetin, rutin, tricin, isoramnetin, amino acids, sterols, betaine, alkaloids and polysaccharides. It also contains minerals such as iron, copper, silicon, phosphorus and potassium.
Scientists have identified a unique complex of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid, in Slender saltwort .
Medicinal properties of Slender saltwort have been determined thanks to various biopharmaceutical and chemical studies. The plant differs from its closest relatives with a low content of the alkaloid salsoline - this alkaloid is toxic. The absence of this alkaloid deprives the plant of much of its medicinal properties, but at the same time the possibility of poisoning with it also disappears.
The flavonoids and both replaceable and non-replaceable amino acids present in Slender saltwort ensure the plant's hepatoprotective properties. The gamma-linolenic acid found in the plant is of special value, which helps to restore the protective functions of cell membranes. Polysaccharides D-fructose and homopolysaccharides D-mannose, known as inulins and mannans, are useful in the diet therapy of diabetic patients. They help stabilize blood sugar levels.
More than 14 different microelements and macroelements present in the Slender saltwort ensure the plant's immune-modulating and body-strengthening properties. Silicon and copper in the plant are of special importance. Silicon is a skeleton-forming and strengthening element, and its leaching from the body contributes to aging. There are very few natural sources of silicon among plants (it can also be found in nettle, field blackthorn, etc.). The volume is relatively large at 50mg/l. Lack of copper, in turn, contributes to anemia, inhibits iron absorption, protects the body from anemia, stimulates the body's hematopoietic processes and strengthens immunity.
In folk medicine, Slender saltwort is used for the treatment and prevention of liver diseases, as well as to restore liver function. It is considered an effective tool to treat liver cirrhosis, cholecystitis, pyelonephritis and hepatitis. The plant enhances blood clotting, treats iron deficiency anemia and diabetes.
Preparations of Slender saltwort are used to regulate the processes of the digestive tract - after intestinal infections, antibiotic use, poisoning. It is believed that fibromyoma, glaucoma can be treated with the plant, as well as by improving vision. It is drunk to prevent osteoporosis and ischemic heart disease, as a choleretic and immune system stimulant. Herbal tea is drunk to regulate metabolic processes, lose excess weight, and reduce blood sugar.
The extract of Slender saltwort is used to treat abstinence syndrome, considering it useful for the liver, heart muscles and brain function.
A concentrated infusion of the plant has a laxative effect, valuable in the case of hemorrhoids, gastric and duodenal ulcers.