Garden cress is a medicinal plant involved in various traditional medicines around the world for centuries. Often confused with its cousin, watercress, this powerful vegetable has a variety of therapeutic properties. It is used in the treatment and prevention of a many medical conditions such as cancer, asthma, and intestinal disorders: indigestion, constipation, and others.
Garden cress contains flavonoids and carotenoids, two powerful anticancer compounds. It is very rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as glucosinolates. This vegetable contains various B vitamins (B2, B6, B9), but also vitamin A, E, C, K. It also has plenty of minerals: copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and others. Garden cress is rich in protein, low in fat, yet high in fiber.
Traditional Medicinal Uses of Garden Cress
Garden cress has been found in writings dating back to ancient times. It has been used around the world for its curative properties. Ancient writing have shown the plant was used mostly as diuretic and tonic, cleansing and appetizing, antipyretic and remineralizing, anti-anemia and deworming to rid of helminths parasites: roundworm, flukes and tapeworm. It also found that Hippocrates commonly recommended Garden cress in ancient Greece to treat pneumonia. Other civilizations used the plant to treat sore throat, cough, migraines and headaches.
Modern Uses of Garden Cress
In Asia such as India, Garden cress is recommended to counteract diarrhea and to tone the body. It is also used as a remedy against hiccups, and aphrodisiac to treat people with low sex drive. Modern natural doctors believe the vegetable also have therapeutic virtues in fighting various intestinal disorders such as stomach pain, hemorrhoids, scurvy (caused by deficiency of vitamin C) and liver disorders.
Garden Cress and Cancer
The anticancer properties of garden cress remain controversial due to lack of research. Until today, there is no major medical study conducted on the plant to prove it is, in fact, capable of killing cancer cells or stopping their proliferation. However, in traditional medicine it is believed eating or drinking the juice of garden cress can prevent the formation or inhibit the reproduction of cancerous cells in the body.
The fact that plenty of studies on other cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts and similar green leaf vegetables) have proven cancer cells are very sensitive to cruciferous it is no doubt that garden cress can help keep cancer away if consumed regularly along with other healthy vegetables. Ideal is to consume the fresh leaves with other cruciferous plants daily, and many times daily if possible. Juicing is ideal; the nutrients go straight to your blood.