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Nasturtium ~ Natural Antibiotic ~ 18/05/08

(Tropaeolum majus)

Scientific research has found the plant has a natural antibiotic action that is fast-working in the body. It is interesting to note that the antibiotic agent, tromalyt, has been found in the urine within one hour of digesting the herb. Noteworthy, too, is that this antibiotic does not interfere with intestinal flora, and it has been found to be effective against some microorganisms that have built up resistance to common antibiotic drugs.

Nasturtiums are good companion plants. They excrete a strong pungent essence into the air and soil, which has been found to deter aphids, white fly and root pests; and the essence secreted into the soil is also absorbed by other plants, helping them to resist attack by pests and disease. Plant nasturtiums between cabbages, broccoli, melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, potatoes, and around fruit trees.

Aphid Spray: nasturtium leaves (infused in boiling water, cooled, strained, and with a little liquid soap added) are used as a spray for aphids on vegetables and other plants.

Nasturtium is a vigorous ground sprawler, when the plants have thickened up and started to spread, start picking the leaves and flowers to eat.

Leaves have a pungent peppery taste, while the flowers are milder in flavour. If leaves and flowers are chopped up finely and added to other greens and vegetables, they are not as noticeably hot in flavour. I encourage every home grower to plant this valuable herb, learn to enjoy it and use it daily for its high content of vitamin C, iron and other minerals, and the powerful antibiotic, antimicrobial, antioxidant and general tonic actions. The hot pungent seeds can be eaten, too.

Nasturtium seasoning: some people pick the seeds, or the flower buds, and pickle them in vinegar to use as a condiment on meals, similar to capers. If the seeds are pricked with a fork before adding the vinegar, this allows the flavour of the hot vinegar to permeate the density of the seeds and helps to preserve them. Mature seeds, when dried, can be ground and used as a substitute pepper for seasoning. Add flowers and leaves to dips, pesto, spreads and cream cheese for added flavour and visual appeal.

Nasturtiums growing in my garden with their bright flowers make me feel happy, and I eat them daily for their health-giving benefits.

I encourage every person to get the wonderful antibiotic benefit of nasturtiums by eating some leaves and flowers, daily. As my herbal teacher would say, Do it daily for protection from colds, viruses, measles, tummy upsets, and other nasties lurking around the neighbourhood .

Isabell Shipard

Shipards Herb Farm News

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