Scientific Name : Nasturtium officinale.
Common Names : Garden Cress, Kresson
Malay Name : Selada ayer
Chinese Name : 西洋菜 (xi yang cai)
Watercress originated in Europe as an invasive weed in streams and springs. It was a staple diet of Roman soldiers (apparently to keep them strong and healthy) and Hippocrates used it to treat his patients. The word “officinale” in any scientific plant name denotes that “it was approved in ancient Rome to be sold as a food or medicine in special stores“.
It can be grown in soil but best with running water i.e. aquaponics. There are several varieties, the most common being the green variety sold in markets. But they aren’t easy to grow from cuttings. The red / purplish variety (Taiwanese / Japanese watercress) are more hardy, propagates from stem cuttings easily and are more shade tolerant. Just keep harvesting them and they will keep growing.
You can eat the leaves raw but make sure you wash thoroughly, soak in water with hydrogen peroxide to remove pollutants or parasites. There are lots of recipes on how to make a soup using bone / anchovy stock. You can also make a cooling sweet drink by boiling the leaves and stems with honey rock sugar.
The Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) score for Watercress is above that of Spinach or Broccoli 1
2 Cups of Watercress provides the following 2:
Vitamin K : 212% RDA
Vitamin A : 44% RDA
Vitamin C : 48% RDA
Calcium : 8% RDA
Manganese : 8% RDA
Potassium : 6% RDA
Fat : 0.1g
Protein : 1.6 g
- All You Need To Know About Watercress by Medical News Today
- ANDI Food Scores : Rating Nutrient Density Of Foods by Dr. Fuhrman
- Watercress : Ancient Flavor by Green Deane
- Watercress by Indian Mirror
- Care Of Watercress by Gardening Know How
The contents and references in this posting are for educational purposes only. Please consult your medical professional before consuming this food either cooked or raw, especially if you have any medical conditions.