Watercress has ample of health and therapeutic properties. Even though, due to its strong, spicy and bitter taste, it is never used alone, but is always added to the juices, salads or other dishes as an ingredient, flavor or garnish. Here are some health benefits of watercress.
Watercress is particularly helpful in treating the different types of anemia due to its high content in iron. Iron is essential for synthesis of hemoglobin, and folic acid, which plays the key role in maturation of red cells in bone marrow. The right amount of vitamin C in watercress also makes the better absorption of iron.
Watercress is rich in the vitamin C, which has an anti-inflammatory action and can help to prevent or alleviate the symptoms of cold, flu and other types of inflammation.
Anti-oxidant and anti-cancer effects:
Just as many other herbs, watercress is the rich in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidant substances help to prevent or fight damage caused by free radicals to the body tissues, thereby contributing to prevent the premature aging, as well as lower risk of developing cancer and many other chronic or degenerative diseases.
Several historical sources show that the watercress has been used for its aphrodisiac effect since age of an ancient Romans and Persians. This could be due to its high zinc and iron content.
Even though not definitely proven, it seems that watercress can help to control the blood sugar levels and prevent or treat the high blood glucose. It is feasible that the hypoglycemic effect of watercress is in part due to its high content in the soluble fiber, that helps to reduce the incorporation of carbohydrates from intestine. This effect is mainly helpful for the individuals with diabetes.
The right proportion of the calcium, magnesium, manganese, vitamins A, C and K in watercress helps to encourage and maintain the healthy and strong bones.
The sulphur glycosides found in the watercress have been shown to change bronchial secretions and exert an expectorant effect, which can be used to treat many forms of the chronic bronchitis.
Watercress does enhance the digestive function, due to its high content in the vitamin C and fiber, which inspire salivary and gastric secretions and motility of the intestinal tract respectively.
In the laboratory test, it was found that daily consumption of the watercress increase ability of cells to oppose DNA damages to lymphocytes i.e., white blood cells.
The high content in the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin are strong anti-oxidants; together with the vitamin A and zinc all in this herb help greatly to improve the eye health.
Watercress can be used topically to treat the dandruff and prevent the hair loss, due to its sulphur, iron, zinc and vitamin A content. The best results are obtained by rubbing scalp and hair with a watercress colouring.
A hangover happens when liver gets overloaded with the toxic alcohol. Watercress juice is so concentrated with so much cleansing goodness that it activates detoxifying enzymes in liver for detoxifying the hangover.
Watercress has been used for centuries for its purifying effects. It improves diuresis and helps to give the colon a good “spring-cleaning”, thereby efficiently removing toxins from the body.
When used topically, watercress juice can be helpful in relieving the skin eczema, as well as other skin conditions. Its high content of the vitamin A and C best obtained by juicing are also beneficial for the healthy skin.
Chewing watercress makes teeth stronger. It also cures bleeding of gum or gingivitis.