It is non toxic and edible. The stems can be used in concoctions, but the leaves are more tender for consumption. Crushing them is sufficient for releasing beneficial properties for topical use. The leaves are a bit thick, more like a succulent than a regular leaf and have a very thin layer of clear gel inside that looks similar to aloe gel.
HOW TO COOK/EAT
It has a bland taste, so it can be added to a smoothie or a salad, or even a cold soup, or just chewed alone. The health benefits are best when raw, but it can be cooked or used as a tea. For health, the amount of it to use depends on the goal, but people report getting results by just chewing from 4 to 8 raw leaves per day.
Uses of this spinach are varied, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. I have even boiled a whole potful with salt and butter added, and found it similar to eating southern collard greens. Some people think the taste of longevity spinach is strong, but I found I got used to it. I actually prefer it to iceberg lettuce now. I use it on almost every day on sandwiches, in salads, and mixed in with stir fried vegetables.
The leaves are high in protein, and the upper portion of the plant has no toxicity. The leaf and stems, though, are being studied extensively for human medical applications so there is a lot of scientific basis for the various claims and I checked using Google Scholar. I included links below:
It is anti-inflammatory, both internally and externally (topical application) including rheumatic inflammation.
It balances blood sugar: it lowers high sugar, but has little effect on people with normal blood sugar levels (150mg/kg) type I and II diabetes.
It suppresses cancer cell growth (ingesting and topical application), including colon, breast and skin cancer and it prevents damage caused by UV light exposure (anti aging).
It protects against ulcers and helps heal existing lesions.
Helps heal external wounds, prevents scarring, and promotes production of collagen.
It protects kidney cells from kidney disease.
Improves sperm count and motility.
Contains a protein that has the effect of masking the taste sense of bitterness. (A commercial application used for bad tasting medicines).
It is good for controlling hypertension by acting as a calcium channel.
Promotes healing and reduces virus count of herpes.
Protects from liver damage caused by free radicals that are released in the liver by environmental toxin exposure (to toxic chemical in a surgical setting).
It is a free radical scavenger/anti-oxidant.
HOW TO GROW
This plant is quite hardy and prolific. Once established, it will grow almost as fast as you can pick it.
Growing longevity spinach is quite similar to Okinawan spinach. You can easily start plants from cuttings. I find you don’t even have to start roots in water; you can just insert fresh cuttings directly into the soil about five inches, and it usually takes.
Just make sure it’s kept well-watered while it grows roots. You can grow it in containers quite well if you have limited space, or plant a whole garden bed.
It requires minimum upkeep and is easily harvested by pinching off the end leaves. I find that this variety of spinach grows better in partial shade. It will grow in the full sun, but the leaves are more tender when it’s in some shade. The leaves will also be more tender if you keep it watered regularly.
It is a fast grower and roots readily. It is not a cold weather plant, but it can grow indoors and there is no worry about kids or pets eating it. It likes moisture, so a bathroom with good light would work…
This content is restricted to site members. If you are an existing user, please log in.