Watercress is a member of the mustard family, which includes cabbage, kale, and broccoli. It is believed these foods originated in the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor areas.
Watercress, common in Europe, North America, and lower South America, is an aquatic perennial that grows in regions that have small natural streams and limestone. The plants thrive when submerged in fresh running water, and there is no danger of winter-killing as long as the water does not freeze solid. Watercress grows in moist soil, usually along the banks of streams, and in recent years has been grown in greenhouses. Partial shade, moist soil, high humidity, and lime result in satisfactory growth. It is grown for its small, round, pungent leaves, which are eaten raw as salads or as garnishes, and as an ingredient in soups. Because of its flavor, watercress makes a tangy seasoning agent.
Brazilians have used watercress for treating tuberculosis, and experiments have reportedly shown improvement in a number of patients. Supposedly, the bacteria in watercress destroys the tuberculosis bacteria. Natives of Brazil have long produced a syrup which is claimed, in some cases, to be a remedy for this disease. This syrup is made by placing alternate layers of moist watercress and sugar in an earthen jar and burying it for fifteen to twenty days. After the liquid settles, the resulting syrup is supposed to be palliative and curative.
Benefits of Watercress
Watercress is a very alkaline food, and is most effective on a reducing diet. It is one of the best foods for taking care of catarrhal conditions and for purifying the blood. Watercress makes an excellent addition to vegetable juices.
Watercress is high in alkaline salts and the vitamins essential to warding off catarrhal conditions. It is good for glandular secretions and for the liver. Watercress is high in water content, so it is a wonderful dissolver. It is very high in sulfur and potassium, a mild stimulant.
Nutrients in one pound
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