Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lepidium sativum L.

English Name : Water Cress

Family : Brassicaceae

Origin : Mediterranean region

A small, herbaceous, glabrous annual, 15 to 45 cm tall. Leaves variable, entire or variously lobed or pinnatisect, often with linear segments; lower leaves long-petioled, twice pinnatisect; upper leaves sessile, linear, linear-oblong or pinnatifid. Flowers small, white, in long racemes. Fruits (pods) small, orbicular-ovate, notched at the apex, winged; seeds solitary in each cell.

Hilly regions of India.

Parts Used : Seed, seedling, root and plant

Herb Effects
Antiasthmatic (plant); hypotensive (accompanied by short-term respiratory stimulation) (seed extract); diuretic and alleviates spasms (seed).

Active Ingredients
Benzyl thiocyanate (seedling); glucosinolate and carotene (plant);beta-sitosterol, sinapin and sinapic acid (seed); alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, linolenic acid, mufa, oleic acid, thiamin (leaf).

Medicinal Use
The plant is administered in cases of asthma, cough with expectoration and bleeding piles; syphilis, tenesmus (root). The leaves are antiscorbutic, diuretic and stimulant. The seeds are galactogogue. It used to procure an abortion, applied as a poultice to pains and hurts and also used as an aperient.


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