The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!


Scientific Names


  • Tropaeolum majus L.
  • Tropaeolaceae
  • Nasturtium family

Common Names

  • Chin-lien-hua (Chinese name)
  • Indian cress
  • Large indian cress

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Parts Usually Used

Flowers, leaves, seeds
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Nasturtium is an annual plant 1 foot tall, 2 feet wide; sometimes a variety has a trailing or climbing stem grows 5-10 feet long; bears small, almost round, radially veined leaves. Red, orange, or yellow flowers, larger than the leaves, bloom from June to October. There are single and double flower varieties.
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Where Found

Native to South America but cultivated in gardens all over the world. Sometimes used to keep insects from cucumbers in the garden.
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Medicinal Properties

Antiseptic, expectorant
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Fresh leaves and flowers, with their peppery flavor similar to watercress, are good in salads or chopped and combined with cream cheese or butter in canap├ęs and sandwiches. The unripe seed pods can be pickled and used as a substitute for capers.

According to the daughter of Linnaeus, the blossoms of Nasturtium have been observed to emit electric sparks towards evening. It is seen most distinctly with the eye partly closed.

In Alsace the nasturtium flowers are added to fermenting wine to impart a particular pungency.

Nasturtium is planted as a companion to radishes, cabbage, and cucumbers; plant under fruit trees. Deters aphids, squash bugs, white flies, striped pumpkin beetles and improves growth and flavor.

The common name of T. majus should not be confused with Nasturtium officinalis, commonly known as watercress.

The name tropaeolum is derived from the latin tropaeum, for trophy, and was an allusion to the shield-like leaves and helmet-like flowers.
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Nasturtium is useful in breaking up congestion in the respiratory passages and relieves congestion of colds. The juice or tea can be used as an internal or external disinfectant and aids digestion. Nasturtium is said to promote the formation of blood cells and is given as a blood purifier.
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Formulas or Dosages

Juice: take 1/2 tsp. of the fresh juice, 3 times per day.
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Nutrient Content

Leaves have vitamin C.
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How Sold

Seeds can be obtained from any nursery
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Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Chinese Medicinal Herbs, compiled by Shih-Chen Li, Georgetown Press, San Francisco, California, 1973.

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

Buy It! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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