Watercress is a plant known for its culinary uses but do you know all the benefits of this plant? Watercress contains multiple properties where its use can achieve incredible results, both internally and externally. Nowadays, more people are trying to look after themselves by shunning industrial products in favor of natural products provided by nature. We're aware of this at OneHowTo.com, as we're always looking for new ways to look after health naturally. For this reason, this article explains the health benefits of watercress.
The characteristics of watercress
Watercress, also known as Nasturtium officinale, is a plant located in areas where water is abundant throughout the year, such as marshes, streams or creeks. It is one of the oldest known vegetables consumed by human beings and is currently widely used in salads. This plant grows submerged in 15 centimeters of water, and has dark green leaves and small, white flowers. The benefits of watercress derive from the following components:
- Iron, calcium, phosphorus, folic acid and iron.
- Vitamin A and C.
- Source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
- Properties of iron: antiviral, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, cleansing, anti-diabetic, expectorant, etc.
- Beta carotene and fiber.
Internal benefits of watercress
The health benefits of watercress can protect your body's internal well-being.
Its antiviral, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties plus its high content of vitamins A and C, enable the body to combat respiratory diseases like colds and their symptoms, such as coughs, fever, runny nose, sneezing, etc. What's more, as a plant rich in minerals, it helps people suffering from illnesses to recover their energy and avoid fatigue that often accompanies colds. Among those illnesses involving respiratory problems, watercress has benefits which mean it can be used to treat bronchitis.
Watercress has benefits which also include its purifying and diuretic capabilities that eliminate accumulated toxins in the body, remove fluid, and purify the blood and organs of filtration in the body. The magnesium, calcium and potassium contained in watercress have very effective cleansing properties. In addition, vitamin C, zinc and copper in watercress make this plant a powerful anti-diabetic which is widely used to regulate excess blood glucose in diabetes. Similarly, it can be used to prevent gallstones and kidney stones, as well as cleansing the liver and facilitating recovery from liver damage.
Preparing watercress for internal use
- Watercress juice: You can find it in specialist shops such as health food shops or you can make it yourself. To make it, crush the plant with a pestle and mortar, squeezing out the juice and filtering out the contents with a strainer.
- Boiled watercress: Just boil a few grams of the plant in a pan and leave it to cool before consuming.
External benefits of watercress
Some of the most powerful benefits of watercress are due to its antiseptic and regenerative properties for the skin, thanks to its zinc and ascorbic acid content. It also contains flavonoids which provide antibacterial properties and help preserve vitamin C. Thanks to this, you can use watercress for the following conditions:
- Wounds. One of the benefits of watercress is that it has a healing effect on the skin. It can be used on wounds, as well as for treating acne. You just need to apply crushed watercress on the area you want to heal, and leave it to act for a while.
- Mouth ulcers. Just as it helps to heal skin wounds, it can also increase the speed at which mouth sores heal. What's more, it's as simple as chewing a few leaves to obtain all the benefits of watercress.
- Gingivitis. Just as with mouth ulcers, the benefits and properties of watercress are effective at stopping inflammation of the gums caused by gingivitis.
- Alopecia. Another benefit of watercress includes its restorative effect on hair. Its zinc and biotin content help to preserve the hair and keep it in good condition. In fact, a lack of these two components can lead to hair loss. Watercress can be used on the hair for alopecia by applying some crushed watercress and massaging it for a few minutes. Learn to prevent hair loss.
Contraindications of watercress
Like all plants that can be used as natural remedies, you should bear in mind a number of precautions.
- Do not use watercress for stomach problems such as gastritis, stomach ulcers or gallbladder problems.
- Excessive consumption can lead to irritation of the kidneys and bladder.
- Obtain the plant from a reliable source and wash it thoroughly before use.
- It can cause respiratory problems in those who suffer from allergies.
- It is not recommended for use by pregnant women or during breastfeeding.
This article is merely informative, OneHowTo does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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