Health Benefits and Uses of Nasturtiums

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The humble nasturtium, easy to grow and a great medicinal herb.

There are many health benefits and uses of nasturtiums. These pretty summer annuals are now familiar in most parts of the world but originated in South America - where they have been used for centuries. The peppery leaves and brightly colored flowers have made nasturtiums a popular herb.

These hardy plants are easy to grow from seed and can thrive in just about any soil. (If you want more leaves than flowers, make sure the soil is rich. If you’d prefer more flowers, make sure to use a more poor soil.) Just loosen the soil a bit and place the seeds. Cover with soil and water. Keep the soil moist and the seeds will start shooting in a few days. If the area is protected, you may find that the plants are biennial. If not, don’t worry – nasturtiums self-seed and will come up again in spring.

Not only do these flowers make a great colorful display in your garden, they can make great cut flowers as well. The many health benefits and uses of nasturtiums make them even more valuable to the gardener.

Health Benefits:

This is a really giving little plant. There are a number of health benefits and uses of nasturtiums and all parts of the plant can be used. The flowers make a great and colorful addition to salads and are full of vitamin C. The leaves are also full of vitamin C and their peppery flavor makes them a great substitute for rocket.

They are naturally antibiotic and the leaves, if eaten one per hour, at the onset of a sore throat, can drastically reduce the severity of the infection.

In South America, the leaves are still used to treat bladder and kidney ailments, for colds, coughs, flu, sore throats and bronchitis. Throughout the years, the leaves and flowers have been used as a cure for scurvy and blood disorders.

Ancient South Americans used the nasturtium as a hair- growth supplement. It has now been scientifically proven that the juice from the flowers and buds stimulates the tiny capillaries of the scalp.

A great hair treatment can be made by mixing a cup each of nasturtium, nettle and rosemary in two liters of water for 15 minutes. Cool and strain. Massage into scalp and then rinse the hair. Keep what’s left over in the fridge.

A simpler mixture is 1 cup of flowers and buds in 1 liter of water, simmered for 15 minutes in a closed pot, strained and used as above.

So give the simple little nasturtium a chance – it’s a fantastic addition to anyone’s garden.

1 comment

A. Smith
Posted on May 31, 2011