Watercress is loaded with nutrients and has been considered an overall tonic for good health. It has been used to ease the debility associated with chronic disease, to increase stamina and physical endurance (supporting the ancient soldiers’ use of the herb), to enhance the body’s immune system and stimulate the body’s rate of metabolism.
Watercress is considered a tonic for the liver. The herb has been used to promote and increase bile production and flow, which not only supports liver function and ease gall bladder complaints, but it is also beneficial for the digestive system. The herb has been thought to alleviate indigestion and inhibit gas formation.
Watercress is believed to be an effective diuretic that promotes urine flow, which helps in clearing toxins from the system. Moreover, it is said to help relieve excess water retention and edema, and some claim that it may help heart disease by relieving retained fluid. The herb is also thought to support good kidney function and ease urinary and bladder problems. Furthermore, many cultures have used Watercress to break up kidney stones or bladder stones.
Watercress is an abundant source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that may be particularly beneficial for the eyes (and the heart). High dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin is linked to a lower risk of advanced age-related macular (eye) degeneration, the most common cause of adult blindness.
Watercress is a rich storehouse of nutrients that has been used as a tonic since ancient times to cleanse the blood and liver of toxins and promote an overall feeling of good health. The herb has been used for a variety of ways that include enhancing stamina, ridding the body of excess fluids , and it is also thought to be a strong antioxidant , particularly in cases of malignancies associated with the lungs.
Watercress has been eaten since ancient times. Today, this mustardy green is used for boosting the zing of salads, soups and finger foods. As you might expect from its name, watercress can grow wild by shallow streams and lakes, where it flourishes at the edge of the water. But generally, the kind that’s edible is purchased at the grocery store.
Watercress is one of the oldest known vegetables. Persians, ancient Greeks, Romans praised its medicinal vertues (recognising up to 40 different uses for it) and often used it as a fortifier to keep their troops healthy.
Watercress is a semi-aquatic perennial, and is one of the oldest known green vegetables consumed by human beings. Watercress is found to contain significant amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C. In some regions watercress is known as a weed, in other regions as an aquatic vegetable or herb . Where watercress is grown in the presence of animal waste, it is a known haven for parasites such as the liver fluke.
Watercress is one of those unassuming, weed-like greens that lets others, like spinach and arugula, hog the spotlight even though it has just as much, if not more, to offer. Those of you who buy watercress regularly already know about its pronounced peppery flavor and delicate leaves. But have you realized how insanely nutritious this green is? Watercress is an abundant source of beta-carotene, vitamins A, B1 and B6, C, E and K, iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It also contains a flavonoid called quercetin that is thought to act as a natural anti-histamine and reduce inflammation.
Watercress contains significant amounts of iron , calcium and folic acid , in addition to vitamins A and C . In some regions, watercress is regarded as a weed , in other regions as an aquatic vegetable or herb . Watercress crops grown in the presence of animal waste can be a haven for parasite s such as the liver fluke ” Fasciola hepatica ”.
Watercress contains significant amounts of micronutrients, such as manganese, iodine, iron, and calcium (Bremness, 1994; Brill and Dean, 1994), but its main active constituents, and source of pungency, may be its glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are irritating to mucous membranes and eyes and skin, and handling plants that contain them can cause allergic dermatitis (Diamond et al., 1990). In medicinal watercress preparations, these glycosides are most likely the chemicals responsible for the plant’s purported effectiveness in reducing inflammation and mucous in the upper respiratory tract. However, clinical reports that confirm these actions are lacking (Hecht et al., 1995; Hecht, 1996). Some of its beneficial effects may be due to a general stimulation of metabolism and the nervous system, including autonomous regulation (Weiss, 1988).
Watercress is a slightly bitter, peppery-tasting green in the mustard family with small leaves. It tastes quite a bit like arugula – perhaps a bit sharper tasting but very similar. Generally there is a tough central stalk that you will want to remove, pinching off the tender shoots and leaves. Since watercress usually grows in shallow water, the stalks may have sand and even teeny tiny snails clinging to the leaves. Remove any sand or little critters by rinsing the watercress in a sink half-full of water with 1-2 tablespoons of salt. The salt will cause any bugs to fall off the plants. Then remove the watercress from the salt water and rinse several times in a sink full of fresh water.
Watercress contains glucosinolates (mustard-oil glycosides) such as gluconasturtiin, a precursor of phenylethyl isothiocyanate which occurs upon hydrolysis (Chung et al., 1992), and nitriles such as 3-phenylpropionitrile, 8-methylthiooctanone nitrile (Wichtl and Bisset, 1994); minerals, including manganese, iron, phosphorus, iodine, copper, and calcium; vitamins A, C, E, and nicotinamide (Karnick, 1994; Taber, 1962).
Watercress consists of the fresh or dried aboveground parts of Nasturtium officinale R. Brown [Fam. Brassicaceae] and their preparations in effective dosage. The herb contains mustard glycosides and mustard oil.
Watercress is also rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, which are two important carotenoids that can help to prevent eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. With regards to heart-related illnesses, the combination of alkaline salts and luteins found in watercress can aid in preventing arterial damage, by impairing the growth of plaque on the arterial walls.
Watercress boasts of a high content of alkaline salts when consumed and digested. As a result, watercress has become one of the most popular leafy vegetables due to its alkaline forming properties and the detoxifying benefits it can provide. The ability of watercress to lower the acidity levels in the body helps a lot in improving our overall health and warding off diseases.