The nasturtium is not only extremely tasty but also very healthy. It is rich in vitamin C and contains mustard oil glycosides. As a result, it has an antiviral, antibiotic, and antifungal effect and is often used as a remedy against various infectious diseases.
Which parts of the nasturtium are edible?
In the Andes, the original homeland of the nasturtium, the bulbous nasturtium (mashua) is cultivated as a crop. Its tuber is used in a similar way to the potato and is also eaten mashed or roasted. The tuber can be dried for several years.
In our latitudes, only the above-ground parts of the plant are consumed. The young leaves are ideal as a spicy topping or for salads, as are the flowers. The taste of nasturtium is spicy-hot, similar to watercress, to which it is not related.
Nasturtium is also often used as a substitute for capers. Briefly boil open buds or unripe seeds in a broth of vinegar, water, and salt. Then fill the still-hot mixture into a clean screw-top jar and close it immediately. Stored in a cool and dark place, your fake capers will keep for several months.
Production of blossom vinegar
You can use the flowers of the nasturtium to make an excellent blossom vinegar. To do this, place the unsprayed, clean flowers in a wide-necked bottle and fill it up with mild vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar or mild wine vinegar is recommended. The liquid must completely cover the blossoms, otherwise, there is a risk of mold.
Well closed, put your vinegar bottle in a dark place. Shake this bottle well once a day. The vinegar slowly takes on the taste and color of the blossoms. After about four weeks, you can strain and use the vinegar.
Nasturtium as a remedy
In order to use nasturtium as a remedy, it does not need to be specially processed. It is enough if you season your dishes with nasturtium or eat the leaves and flowers as a salad.
However, crushed leaves can also be used to make tea, which makes regular use easier. For half a liter of water, you need about two teaspoons full.
If you want to strengthen your immune system and prevent colds, then include nasturtium in your daily diet. About 40 grams of fresh leaves and/or flowers of the nasturtium 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 cystitis and other urinary tract infections.
The leaves of the nasturtium are also said to promote wound healing and relieve muscle pain when used externally.
Due to its high content of mustard oil glycosides and vitamin C, nasturtium is ideal for strengthening the immune system and preventing colds.