Nasturtium is a beautiful, brightly adorned plant that originated in South America and used to be used as a remedy for scurvy. When introduced to Europe from the Andes in 1630 nasturtiums were called “Indian Cress.” Some think that nasturtiums can act as an aphrodisiac and can rejuvenate thanks to the Vitamin C found in it. Nasturtium is actually a plant native to Peru. There are many varieties that you’ll find at gardening and hardware stores in little packets of seeds. They grow annually in colder climates, and perennially in warmer areas.
What to look for:
Nasturtium will trail or climb and has round dark green leaves the resemble lily pond leaves. The flowers are cone-shaped, brilliantly colored, ranging from yellow through orange to red.
How Mother Nature loves it:
Nasturtium grows best in full sun and sufficient water. If not potted in a sheltered area, it will continue to grow and spread like a delicate vine. They make a great garden decoration due to its colorful flowers. They grow well in containers, but don’t transplant well if you plan on moving them into the ground.
How to use it:
Nasturtium can be used in teas to provide relief for chest congestions, or as a poultice for styes since it works as an astringent. For culinary uses, it can be added to salads or used as a garnish thanks to its peppery flavored leaves. Some also eat the flower buds, or can be soaked in vinegar and substituted for capers.
This herb also works as a form of pest control against aphids, whiteflies, pumpkin beetles and the squash bug.