Nasturtium (Nasturtium tropaeolum majus)
Nasturtium is found in many gardens with its round flat leaves and bright cheery flowers. It comes in many different colors and some varieties have variegated leaves as well. Both the leaves and flowers are edible, and make terrific additions to salads. They have a peppery taste that adds zest to anything you add it to. They are a good plant to add to any flower bed because they have a natural ability to keep bugs away from both themselves and other plants.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Nasturtium is mostly taken fresh by adding leaves, flowers and seed pods into salads and other edibles. The plant is antimicrobial, so it is good to eat this herb for infections. It is useful for respiratory infections like bronchitis, flu and colds, and it is also helpful for reproductive infections. It can help clear mucous from the throat and lungs. By taking herbal tincture when you first feel a cold coming on, you can help speed that cold on its way. The seed pods may be antifungal. Tinctures can be made in alcohol or vinegar to preserve the nutrients of the plant for later use. Vinegar can be put on cooked greens for a mustardy touch.
Externally Not used externally
Other Uses Nasturtium leaves can be added to salads and sandwich spreads. Chop some up and add it to egg or potato salad. Flowers and seeds can be added to salads for color and zest.
Herbs to Combine/Supplement
Leaves, flowers, seed pods Leaves, flowers and seed pods are used medicinally.
Nasturtium should not be used on small children and infants. If you suffer from gastric or intestinal ulcers or kidney problems, you should not take these herbal remedies orally. The herb contains benzyl mustard oil which can irritate the skin. It can also cause gastrointestinal irritation. Overdosing on the herb can cause albuminuria (the presence of protein in the urine).
Preparation and Dosage
For commercial preparations follow the printed directions carefully or follow the instructions of your herbalist. For tincture, a dose of 40 drops twice a day is sufficient. For a nasturtium herb vinegar, 1 tablespoon three times per day will do the trick.