Nasturtium Officinale, Nasturtium Aquatic
Watercress, tall nasturtium (English), echte brunnenkresse,
brunnenkressenkraut, wasserkresse (German), cresson, cresson de
fontaine, herb aux chantes (French).
Watercress is related to the cruciferae and originates in Europe, but it
can also be found in many places in North America and one of the oldest
known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings. Watercress grows along
waterways and marshes. The plant has long, angular, stems, with
conspicuous, dark green leaves; flowering season is from May to
Essential oil (rafanol), vitamins A, C, E, D and B1, B2, B6, K,
carotene, minerals ( iron, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, zinc, and
potassium, iodine), and bitters. Watercress has thiocyanateglycosides,
mustard oil glycosides (glucosinolates), specifically gluconasturtiin,
which can be hydrolyzed to 2- phenethyl isothiocyanate.
Fresh Watercress contains: Water 95.1%; Protein 2.3%; Total lipid (fat)
0.1%; Carbohydrate, by difference 1.3%; Fiber, total dietary 1.5%; Ash
1.2%. Minerals: Calcium, 120mg/100g; Iron, .20mg/100g; Magnesium, 21
mg/100g; Phosphorus, 60 mg/100g; Potassium, 330 mg/100g; Sodium, 41
mg/100g; Zinc, 0.11 mg/100g; Copper, 0.077 mg/100g; Manganese, 0.244
mg/100g; Selenium, Se 0.9 mcg/100g; Vitamin A, 4700 IU, Vitamin A, RE
470mcg; Vitamin C, 43.0 mg/100g; Thiamin 0.09 mg/100g; Riboflavin 0.12
mg/100g; Niacin 0.2 mg/100g; Pantothenic acid 0.3 mg/100g; Vitamin B-6
0.13 mg/100g; Folate, 9 mcg/100g;; fatty acids; and amino acids.
- An excellent source of phytochemicals and antioxidants
- Exceptional general stimulant for the spleen, liver, gall-bladder, and kidneys
- Stimulates the excretion of urine (diuretic)
- Encourages the loosening and removal of phlegm (expectorant)
- Cleanses and purifies the blood (depurative)
- Improves blood quality
- Improves absorption and transport of oxygen
- Strengthens the stomach (stomachic)
- Increases natural immune resistance (immunostimulant)
- Encourages digestion (digestive, herbal bitter)
- Stimulant and restorative for the kidneys
- Stimulates excretion of gall (cholagogue)
- Lowers blood sugar level (antidiabetic)
- Detoxificant and tonic
- Functional beneficial for sufferers of hypothyroidism
- A single 4 ounce bunch has more than a full day's RDA of Potassium
Historically or traditionally known to support the body's function and physiology in dealing with:
- General weakness of infirmity, fatigue, recovery from illness
- Mild anemia
- Chest disorders, cough, tightness of chest, excess phlegm, inflammation of bronchial tract
- Functionally lowers uric acid in gout, rheumatism
- Reduces edemas
- Gentile soothing effect on problematic digestion
- Reduces susceptibility to infections diabetes
- Eases skin disorders such as rash, eczema,
- Due to its high iodine content, it has a strengthening effect on the thyroid gland,
In rare cases, gastrointestinal upsets. Excessive or extended use of the fresh plant may cause light stomach cramps
Watercress, a peppery herb, is contraindicated in cases of
gastrointestinal ulcers and inflammatory disorders of the kidneys.
Watercress is also contraindicated as a medicine for children less than 4
years of age.
Watercress juice is often part of a good cleansing routine. It is
extremely nutritious with alkalizing minerals. Watercress is used in
several areas of the world as a natural medicine, with various
applications, amongst others.
Watercress is an abundant source of sun given chlorophyll, rich in
vitamins A and C, and both major and trace minerals, including iodine.
It has been traditionally a detoxifier and a wonderful restorative.
Watercress contains gram for gram more vitamin C than oranges, more
calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than bananas.
Watercress is a better source of vitamins C, B1, B6, K, E, Iron,
calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and potassium than apples,
broccoli, and tomatoes.
The first attempts at commercial cultivation are reported to have been
made in the 16th century at Erfurt in Germany. Watercress are extremely
fast-growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic, perennial plants native from
Europe to central Asia, and one of the oldest known leaf vegetables
consumed by human beings. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is
thought to have decided on the location for his first hospital because
of its proximity to a stream so he could use only the freshest
watercress to treat his patients Watercress is brimming with over 15
vitamins and minerals.
Do not confuse Nasturtium officinale with Nasturtium microphylla, formerly Rorippa microphylla,
also called (one-row) watercress, which is a noxious weed restricted in
some states (as is true watercress), and is not as valuable either
nutritionally or medicinally. Unharvested, watercress can grow to a
height of 50–120cm. Also sold as sprouts, the edible shoots are
harvested days after germination. Like many plants in this family, the
foliage of watercress becomes bitter when the plants begin producing
Watercress is the most ancient of
green vegetables known to man and its use can be traced back to the
Persians, Greeks and Romans. The ancient Greek General Xenophon of
Athens was a historian, soldier, mercenary, and a contemporary and
admirer of Socrates. He was famous for making his soldiers eat
watercress before going into battle to increase their vigor and stamina.