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Watercress Health Benefits (herb)

Watercress is nutrient rich perennial herb found in abundance near springs and alongside slow running water ways. Peppery and tangy flavoured cress is a storehouse of many natural phytonutrients likeisothiocyanates that have health promotional and disease prevention properties.

 

It is also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamine and pantothenic acid that are essential for optimum cellular metabolic functions.

 

Watercress has a variety of uses, either as a flavouring herb or as a medicinal herb. In addition, watercress juice can be added to other vegetable juices to give them flavour and health benefits.

 

Watercress is particularly helpful in treating different types of anaemia due to its high content in iron. Iron is essential for the synthesis of haemoglobin, and folic acid, which plays a key role in the maturation of red cells in the bone marrow.

 

The right amount of vitamin C in watercress also makes better absorption of iron.

 

The right proportion of calcium, magnesium, manganese, vitamins A, C and K in watercress helps promote and maintain healthy and strong bones.

 

Watercress can be used topically to treat dandruff and prevent hair loss, due to its sulphur, iron, zinc and vitamin A content. The best results are obtained by rubbing the scalp and the hair with a watercress tincture.

 

When used topically, watercress juice can be helpful in relieving skin eczema, as well as other skin conditions. Its high content of vitamin A and C best obtained by juicing are also beneficial for healthy skin.

 

Watercress is used for swollen breathing passages in the lung, coughs, bronchitis, flu, and swine flu. Other uses include treating baldness, constipation, parasitic worms, cancer, goitre, polyps, scurvy, and tuberculosis.

 

Greek soldiers were given it as a tonic before going into battle and the 16th Century herbalist Culpepper claimed it could cleanse the blood. It is brimming with more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals.

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