•American grown seeds
Watercress seeds are grown for both a culinary and medicinal herb. It is a succulent, leafy plant that thrives in marshes, bogs and water gardens. The lobed leaves can be eaten raw, cooked or dried. They have a pungent flavor and are crisp. It needs to be harvested before the buds appear as the leaves turn bitter after flowering. It is a fast-growing plant that prefers partial shade. It produces white flowers in mid-summer which are very attractive to bees. Watercress plants are highly ornamental.
Raw watercress has a peppery taste, similar to other related plants like mustard and wasabi. Once cooked the pepperiness of watercress diminishes, leaving a distinctive vegetable flavour which tastes delicious in soups, stews and stir fries. More mature watercress can sometimes taste slightly bitter.
Eating watercress daily has the ability to significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells and further to resist DNA damage caused by free radicals, according to a two-year research project at the University of Ulster. Scientists examined a watercress-derived compound called phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) and found significant anticancer properties. Single blind, randomized, crossover trials involved 60 healthy men and women eating about 1½ cups of fresh watercress daily for eight weeks. Positive results included a reduction in blood triglyceride levels by an average of 10%, and a significant (33% to 100%) increase in lutein and betacarotene content, associated, with higher intake levels, in a lowered incidence of eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Scientific research found that the PEITC in watercress may suppress breast cancer cell development. Studies at the University of Southampton study found PEITC may starve tumor growth of blood and oxygen by "turning off" a signal in the body. Researchers explained that "as tumors develop, they rapidly outgrow their existing blood supply so they send out signals that make surrounding normal tissues grow new blood vessels into the tumor, which feed them oxygen and nutrients.
Start seeds for an indoor herb garden. Place the containers in a tray of water and keep the water constantly supplied. Fluorescent lamps or growing lights are needed. The seeds can be started indoors 6 weeks before the last expected frost and then transplanted outdoors. The ideal setting is along a pond or stream bank.
USDA Zones: 5-11
Height: 12-24 inches
Bloom Season: Late spring to mid summer
Light Required: Partial shade
Watering: Keep moist
Soil: Varying soil types as long as they are saturated.
Seed Depth: ¼ inch
Seeds per Plant: 15-20
Plant Spacing: 9-12 inches
***These products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore we cannot claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information on our site is provided for educational purposes only.
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