nasturtium

Nasturtium: is said to help to clear skin problems like acne, and also to ease depression ...

Common Names: Nasturtium, Indian Cress, Monks Cress

Botanical Name: Tropaelum majus

Family: Tropaeolaceae

Plant Type: Herbaceous annual vine

Parts Used: Aerial parts

Flowering: May to September

Nasturtium originated in South America in the Andes from Bolivia north to Columbia.

Description: Nasturtium is an herbaceous plant with trailing stems growing to 1 meter long or more. The leaves are large, nearly circular, 3-15 cm in diameter, green to light bluish-green above, paler below; they are shield-shaped, with the leafstock near the middle of the leaf, with several veins radiating to the smoothly rounded or slightly lobed margin. The flowers are 2 - 6 cm diameter, with five petals, eight stamens, and a 2.5–3 cm long nectar spur at the rear; they vary from yellow to orange to red, frilled and often darker at the base of the petals. The fruit is 2 cm broad, three-segmented, each segment with a single large seed 1–1.5 cm long.

Cultivation: Nasturtiums are tender perennials native to South America. In the North they are grown as annuals, in moist, well-drained soil in full sun. The best way to encourage the flame-coloured flowers and not just the greenery is to starve it. A rich soil will produce nothing but leaves.

Harvesting: The flowers and leaves can be picked at any time. Gather the seeds when they are ripe.

Companion Planting: Grow nasturtiums near your tomatoes to keep away whiteflies. Nasturtiums also repel squash bugs and many cabbage pests.

Culinary Uses: Nasturtiums are edible and high in vitamin C. Toss the a few of the leaves and flowers in salads or use the flowers as a garnish. They have a pungent, peppery flavor. The seeds can be pickled and used like capers.

Nasturtium

Vitality

The Nasturtium brings me radiant energy, a glowing vitality

that helps me direct my Soul's light

into the practical experiences of daily life and physical reality.

I now master all my activities to create joy and abundance.

Herbal Healing with Nasturtium

Medicinal Actions: Antimicrobial, laxative (gentle), tonic

Medicinal Uses: Nasturtiums are a potent anti-microbial agent. They are useful in treating respiratory infections such as bronchitis, as well as viral infections such as influenza and the common cold. Its bitterness acts as a tonic to the mucous membranes, helping to clear congestion. Nasturtium is a good digestive tonic, stimulating the flow of juices and acting as a gentle laxative. Use it fresh as a poultice for external infections.

Healing Combinations with Nasturtium

For respiratory infections, it combines well with elder (Sambucus), echinacea (Echinacea) and yarrow (Achillea)

For urinary infections, try it with buchu (Barosma), couch grass (Agropyron), or corn silk (Zea)

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INFUSION

Steep the recommended quantity of leaves or flowers of the herb in one cup of just-boiled water for 10 minutes (this makes one dose). Strain before drinking, or leave the herbs as sprigs and simply remove them. Always cover infusions if you intend to store them, and use them within 24 hours. Drink hot or cold.


DECOCTION

Place the relevant quantity of herbs in 800ml cold water (makes three doses) in a pan. Boil, then simmer for 1 hour to reduce the liquid by a third. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug and store, in a cool place, for up to 24 hours. Drink hot or cold.


TINCTURE

Tinctures can be used to prepare roots or leaves. They include alcohol and water to extract the properties from the herbs which would not be available if a water preparation alone was used. It is possible to replace the alcohol with glycerol or vinegar.

A tincture will last for up to two years, which makes it a very convenient method if you intend long-term use of the herbs.


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