Watercress, the medicinal use of a salad vegetable


Watercress is a medicine. It contains 208% of the RDA of vitamin K, 106% for vitamin A and 72% for vitamin C. These are medicinally high percentage scores! Watercress is considered a medicine in European phytotherapy.

In European phytotherapy, watercress is used to detox the liver. Traditionally it´s used in spring a lot for inner cleansing purposes. A problematic liver is a cause for diseases like edema, eczema, acne, gout, arthrosis and migraine. The kidneys also function better wen you eat this vegetable; it has diuretic qualities. In this way, it makes you loose extra toxins.

Watercress and cancer

Watercress contains a relatively high amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fats. This helps to make it anti-carcinogenic or a cancer-fighting vegetable. Together wit the detox-capacities, this makes watercress an anti-cancer vegetable. There is, even more, more reason in which watercress fights cancer. It consists isothiocyanates and researchers say that they trigger apoptosis, which is the sudden death of a cancer cell. According to UK researchers in 2006 this vegetable can be linked with a reduced risk of cancer.


Watercress promotes healthy digestion. Therapists use it together with other plants to treat anorexia, indigestion, diarrhea, convulsions in the stomach and intestines, vomiting, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease and gastritis. Research from Iran shows that this vegetable can be used as a liver protective agent. In Iran, it is used traditionally in this way.

Mental diseases and watercress

As if the list of medicinal benefits is not yet long enough, there is even more. Watercress can treat mental diseases, mainly because it contains a high nutrient value. Researchers start to know more about the relation of food and mental problems. There is a growing body of evidence that mental problems can be caused by food.  Foods with too much sugar, white flour and, trans fats may give you depression by the lack of essential nutrients. There have been numerous studies done to industrial food as canned food. It turns out that food from cans with a plastic coating, bring bisphenol A in the body. Consuming bisphenol A is a well-known risk for mental problems like depression and ADHD.

Good for the bones

Watercress is good for the bones. Vitamin K makes it a good vegetable to stimulate the growth of bone cell formations. This vegetable contains the flavonoid rutin. In 2014 researchers showed for the first time that rutin from watercress plays an important role in the formation of bone cell structures.

Good for the brain

This leafy vegetable has many vitamin K, and this vitamin is restoring damage to the neurons done by bad food. Omega 3 is very important in this because our brains are mostly made of omega 3. Furthermore, the improved detox function of the liver and the kidneys will help to protect the body from harm. A Japanese research shows a relation between Alzheimer´s disease, bad bone density, and vitamin K-shortage. 

Medicinal kitchen advice

How do you use this medicinal food? You can use watercress daily in a side salad next to breakfast eggs or on bread with cheese. You can put in in a smoothie. You can use this salad vegetable daily without side effects. Raw vegetables contain some of the enzymes you need to digest your warm meal better. It´s a good idea yo accompany any warm meal with salad vegetables. You can make a sandwich more healthy, tasteful and medicinal by adding some raw leafs. Top up your lunch at work with some fresh watercress and enjoy your medicine!!!

My field of interest is the healing power of food. Latest scientific research shows that many food has medicinal values. I am researching whether people can get well by eating the right kinds of foods at the right time. What I have found during my research I write down in articles.