Nasturtium officinale

One time I was invited to a rare meal, one that I won't forget for longtime. I had to go to the city and I was asked if I would deliver some things to a lady whom I had known for some time.


That evening, when I got there, she asked me if I would like to eat dinner with her. I hesitated for a couple of reasons. First off, I had my mind set on a Chinese dinner and I knew I wouldn't get any Chinese food at her place. Second, I was running late and I could see there was nothing fixed and I knew it would be a couple of hours before any kind of a meal could be prepared.


I tried to beg off real polite-like and said I really didn't want to impose on her fixing a meal and all. She said, “Oh posh, tain't nothin' at all. Just sit down there on the couch.”


Well, I sat down on the couch and she went right straight to the refrigerator. She started haulin' out plastic bags of vegetables and put them on the little table in front of the couch. She served up spinach leaves, carrot strips, celery strips, alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, little onions, brocolli, raisins, cauliflower, nuts and other things I can't remember. But there's one thing I really do remember, and that was watercress. Now I had eaten watercress a lot of times before, but with this meal it was different. As you were eatin' away and things needed spicing up, you just took a couple of bites of that zesty watercress and that seemed to brighten everything right up. That was some meal.


In the city, they called her “the pacer” because she had so much energy. She used to call me at 5:00 in the morning and ask why I was still in bed, that she had been up since 3:00 0'clock doing her Scripture reading, experiences, and work.
But it wasn't always like that. The first time I saw that lady, two people were holding her up to help her walk. They had sent her home from the hospital to die. It took a lot of raw food, a lot of herbs, a lot of exercise, a lot of watercress and a whole lot of determination to get back on top. Watercress is a perennial, aquatic plant that thrives in most slow-flowing, cool water streams. The roots grow very shallow and the hollow stalks that lay on the water sometimes grow two feet long. There are five to seven, bright green, shiny leaflets to a stem. These almost-round leaflets, with a cluster of white flowers and a seed pod, rise above the water.


You must be careful when you pick wild watercress. Stay away from stagnant water or streams where sheep pasture or streams where animals wade in the water. You must rinse it and clean it well. It is good idea to soak the watercress in salt water for about an hour, in case it might have some larva on it. Watercress is an excellent diuretic. It has been used for relief of many kidney and bladder problems. Watercress, taken over a period of time, will help to flush out the kidney and bladder and help to soften and break up stones. Don't use too much too long.


Watercress is used by many as a tonic to tone up the body. It is said that it will help to regulate the metabolism. It is said o aid in digestion because it helps to increase the flow of bile. In some cultures, watercress is a blood purifier and a skin cleanser, because of its accessible minerals and cleansing action. Watercress is said to be very rich in vitamin C and this why it has been used to fight scurvy. It also has vitamins A, E, B, D, and G. Watercress has more iron than spinach. Other minerals are iodine, zinc, phosphorus. Manganese, copper, calcium, and sulfur.


Some folks say there is nothing better than watercress to clean the toxins in the liver and help you to feel better. Other say it helps arthritis. Some say there is nothing like a watercress sandwich, others say a salad.
I guess it's just your point of view.
 

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