Is the nasturtium edible?

Is the nasturtium edible?

Which parts of the nasturtiums are edible?

In the Andes, the original home of the nasturtium, the tuberous nasturtium (Mashua) is grown as a useful plant. Its tuber is used in a similar way to the potato and also consumed as a porridge or roasted. The tuber will keep for several years when dry.

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In our latitudes, only the above-ground parts of the plant are consumed. The young leaves are ideal as a spicy bread topping or for salads, as are the flowers. The taste of the nasturtium is spicy and hot, similar to that of watercress, but not related to it.

The nasturtium is also frequently used as a substitute for capers. Briefly boil closed buds or unripe seeds in a broth made from vinegar, water and salt. Then pour the still hot mixture into a clean screw-top jar and close it immediately. If stored in a cool and dark place, your fake capers will keep for a few months.

Production of flower vinegar

You can make excellent flower vinegar with the flowers of the nasturtium. To do this, put the unsprayed clean flowers in a wide-necked bottle and fill it up with a mild vinegar. Apple cider vinegar or mild wine vinegar is recommended. The liquid must completely cover the flowers, otherwise there is a risk of mold.

Now put your vinegar bottle tightly closed in a dark place. You should shake this bottle well once a day. The vinegar slowly takes on the taste and color of the flowers. After about four weeks, you can strain and use the vinegar.

Nasturtium as a remedy

To use nasturtiums as a remedy, it doesn't need to be specially processed. It is enough if you season your food with nasturtiums or eat the leaves and flowers as a salad. However, the grated leaves can also be used to make a tea, which makes regular use easier. For half a liter of water you need about two teaspoons.

If you want to strengthen your immune system and prevent colds, then include nasturtiums in your daily diet. Around 40 grams of fresh nasturtium leaves and / or flowers contain enough active ingredients to strengthen the immune system.

Nasturtium is often used for diseases of the upper respiratory tract, such as inflammation of the paranasal sinuses or bronchitis, but also for bladder infections and other urinary tract infections. The leaves of the nasturtium are said to promote wound healing and alleviate muscle pain when applied externally.

Tips & Tricks

Due to its high content of mustard oil glycosides and vitamin C, nasturtiums are ideal for strengthening the body's defenses and preventing colds.