Introduction of Watercress:water pepper or bronkors.
✵The article gives records of the herb Watercress, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Nasturtium officinale R.BR., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Watercress, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
English Name: Watercress.
Latin Name: Nasturtium officinale R.BR, sometimes referred to as Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum.
Common Names: Water pepper, bronkors, etc.
Property and flavor: The plant has a radish-like taste and smells tangy when rubbed.
Brief introduction: This hardy, well-known perennial has small, pungent leaflets and white flowers with yellow anthers and brown seeds. It belongs to the mustard family and grows in and around water throughout temperate regions of the world. The above ground parts are used medicinally. Watercress bears no relation to the ornamental plant commonly referred to as nasturtium.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Watercress as the above-ground part of the species (1). Nasturtium officinale R.BR. It is a plant species of the Nasturtium genus, the Brassicaceae family(Cruciferae, mustard family). The above-ground parts are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Nasturtium officinale R.BR.
Botanical description: Nasturtium officinale is an aquatic herb that grows from 20-40 cm and has creeping runners, the whole plant is smooth and glabrous. The stem is angular, hollow, decumbent, rooting, prostrate, or floating, much branched, with adventitious roots at nodes. The somewhat compound succulent leaves are alternate, usually odd-pinnate, lyrate, and petiolate. They remain grass-green in winter. They have broad-elliptical, entire-margined, or sweeping-crenate leaflets and roundish, broadly cordate terminal leaflets, 2~3 cm long, 1.5~2.5 cm wide, blunt or slightly concave, nearly entire or shallowly wavy, base is truncated, petioles are thin and flat, lateral leaflets are similar to terminal ones, the base is unequal, petiole base is ear-shaped, slightly embracing.
On the leading and side shoots there are terminal, racemelike inflorescences, which are slightly umbelliferous and consist of small, white, solitary flowers. The 4 white sepals are 2 to 3 mm long and glabrous, about 1 mm wide, long ovate, the margin is membranous, and the base is slightly cystic. The 4 white petals are 2.5 to 5 mm long, 1~1.5 mm wide, and turn lilac, obovate or broadly shaped, veined, rounded at the top, and tapered into thin claws at the base. There are 2 to 4 stamens with yellow anthers and filaments, which also turn lilac.
The fruit or silique is 15-20 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, with a glabrous pod on an 8 to 12 cm stem, the fruit stalk is slender, spreading, or slightly curved; the style is short. The seeds are in 2 rows per chamber, flat, ovate, 1 mm long, 0.8 to 0.9 mm wide, reddish-brown, with a reticulated surface. There are about 25 sections on each seed surface. The flowering period is from April to May, and the fruiting period is from June to July.
Ecological environment: The plant is native to Europe, and it is found almost all over the world and is cultivated in many regions in Asia, North America, and Africa.
Growth characteristics: Nasturtium officinale likes raw water, can grow in areas at altitudes of 850~3,700 meters above sea level, along ditches, mountains, and rivers, swamps, or paddy fields, pond, garden, and likes a cool and humid environment, the suitable growth temperature is 15~25 °C (Celsius, or 59~77 degrees Fahrenheit), the growth is slow below 10 °C (Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit), and it can endure multiple touches of frost in a short period of time. In winter, the temperature can be safely overwintered in the open field at about 0 °C (Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit). If the temperature is higher than 30 °C (Celsius, or 86 degrees Fahrenheit), the growth is stagnant, and the leaves are prone to yellowing or withering. The growth period requires good light. When the light is insufficient, the stem and leaves grow weakly and the yield is low. It likes neutral loam soil with strong water retention and fertility, and the suitable pH (pH scale:acidity-basicity) value is 6.5-7.5.
After the shrubs grow up, the water level can be deepened according to the requirements of the garden landscape. In the growing season, weeds should be removed in time, and after fertilizer should be applied 1 or 2 times in combination with weeding.
Edible Value: Watercress is crisp and tender, rich in nutrients, suitable for making various dishes, and can also be made into cool drinks or dry products, which are of edible value. Watercress is nutrient-rich and comprehensive. Every 100 grams of fresh watercress contains various nutrients: vitamin C 50 mg, protein 1~2 grams, cellulose 0.3 grams, calcium 43 mg, phosphorus 17 mg, and iron 0.6 mg. It also contains a variety of amino acids and vitamins A, S, D, etc.The nutrients of watercress are relatively comprehensive, among which the content of superoxide dismutase (SOD) is very high, and it is also rich in vitamins and minerals. Watercress has a menstrual stimulating effect and can interfere with the embedding of the ovum and prevent pregnancy. Watercress is sweet and slightly bitter, cold in nature, and enters the lungs and bladder.
It has the functions of clearing dryness and moistening the lungs, resolving phlegm and cough, and diuretic, a healthy vegetable for brain fitness. The Romans used watercress to treat hair loss and scurvy. In West Asia, watercress is considered a good food for children.
Characters of herbs: Watercress is the fresh or dried above-ground parts of Nasturtium officinale. The fresh herb is collected in the wild and dried in shady, well-aired conditions.
Pharmacological actions: ①.prevent cancer and antitumoral; ②.nutritional values; ③.antibiotic; ④.diuretic actions; ⑤.hypolipidemic effect; ⑥.anti-inflammatory action; ⑦.hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity; ⑧.antidiabetic effect.
Watercress components conasturtiin may help prevent the development of lung cancer in smokers, it is protective against lung cancer induced by a tobacco-specific carcinogen known as NNK.
Watercress contains the vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E, various minerals, mustard-oil glycosides, and other glucosinolates, to get a supplement with these nutrients better take the fresh juice, as these components disintegrate with storage.
The diuretic effect of watercress is probably due to the mustard oil content. As an amaroid herb, it stimulates appetite and digestion.
Hi-fat diet rats study found taking watercress extract could lower serum blood total cholesterol, triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).
A study in rats found watercress crude extract has topical anti-inflammatory activity.
Watercress has hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity, a study found that watercress ethanolic extract showed more antioxidant activity.
Watercress ethyl acetate extract significantly reduced blood glucose levels at 100 mg/kg. Watercress hydroalcoholic extract significantly reduced serum glucose, total cholesterol, and LDL in diabetic rats.
Medicinal efficacy: Watercress was enjoyed and used since ancient times in salads and other foods for its faintly spicy and slightly bitter taste. It was used as a natural tonic and digestive aid. Watercress juice and its other preparations were used to stimulate the metabolism and nervous system, boost appetite, relieve indigestion, increase urination as a diuretic, strengthen the general condition of the body, cleanse the blood and skin, and relieve scurvy as it contains a high amount of vitamin C, relieve nervousness, coughs and respiratory congestion.
In Europe, the herb is approved for cough and bronchitis, in folk medicine, the plant is used internally for catarrh of the respiratory tract, as an appetite stimulant, and for digestion problems. Externally, leaves decoction in poultices and compresses is used for arthritis. In homeopathy, watercress is used for irritation of the efferent urinary tract.
Administration of Watercress (Water pepper):
Administration Guide of Watercress (Water pepper)
Herbal classic books:
Dosage: Watercress is used as part of the diet, often in a salad. From 20~30 grams of the fresh herb is consumed daily. 60~150 grams of freshly extracted juice is taken daily. An infusion is prepared by pouring boiling water over 2 grams of the fresh herb and straining after ten minutes. To prepare a tea, pour 150 ml boiling water over 2 grams of herb, about 1~2 teaspoonfuls, cover for 10~15 minutes, and strain. The daily dosage is 2~3 cups of the tea before meals, 4~6 grams of the dried herb, 20~30 grams of the fresh herb, or 60~150 grams of freshly pressed juice. Externally, the herb is applied as a poultice or a compress.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Watercress is widely considered a safe herb, but large amounts or use for extended periods of time may develop stomach and intestinal upset. The mustard-oil glycosides are responsible for this irritation. Parasitic infection involving the liver - Fasciola hepatica infection was reported in individuals who take wild watercress, its symptoms are fever, abdominal pain, weight loss, and generalized muscle and joint pain.
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1.Introduction of Watercress:water pepper or bronkors.