Garden Cress Lettuce Seeds (Lepidium sativum)
Package of 100 seeds.
Cress (Lepidium sativum) , sometimes referred to as garden cress to distinguish it from similar plants also referred to as cress. Garden Cress is a rather fast-growing, edible herb. Garden cress is genetically related to watercress and mustard, sharing their peppery, tangy flavor and aroma. In some regions, garden cress is known as mustard and cress, garden pepper cress, pepper grass, pepperwort or poor person's pepper.
This annual plant can reach a height of 60 cm (~24 inches), with many branches on the upper part. The white to pinkish flowers are only 2 mm (1/12 of an inch) across, clustered in branched racemes.
Garden cress in agriculture
Garden cress is commercially grown in England, France, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
Cultivation of garden cress is practical on both mass scales and on the individual scale. Garden cress is suitable for hydroponic cultivation and thrives in slightly alkaline water. In many local markets, the demand for hydroponically grown cress can exceed available supply, partially because cress leaves are not suitable for distribution in dried form, so can be only partially preserved. Consumers commonly acquire cress as seeds or (in Europe) from markets as boxes of young live shoots.
Edible shoots are typically harvested in one to two weeks after planting, when they are 5–13 cm (2 - 5 inches) tall.
Cress in cookery
Garden cress is added to soups, sandwiches and salads for its tangy flavor. It is also eaten as sprouts, and the fresh or dried seed pods can be used as a peppery seasoning (haloon). In England, cut cress shoots are commonly used in sandwiches with boiled eggs, mayonnaise and salt.
Garden cress, known as chandrashoor, and the seeds, known as halloon in India, are commonly used in the system of ayurveda to prevent postnatal complications.
Cress may be given to pet birds, such as budgerigars.
Lepidium sativum seeds are used medicinally for indigestion and constipation.
Medicinal uses of Lepidium sativum (Pepper grass)
Lepidium sativum seeds are used in treatment of dysentery, leprosy, skin and eye diseases, leucorrhoea, scurvy, diarrhea, dyspepsia, asthma, cough, cold and seminal weakness. They are considred bitter, diuretic, tonic, abortifacient, aphrodisiac, thermogenic, galactagogue, emmenagogue, depurative, ophthalmic and contain a large amount of oil.
The root is acrid and bitter in taste. It is used for treating tenesmus and secondary syphilis.
The leaf possesses diuretic, stimulant and antibacterial activities. It is recommended for hepatopathy, scurvy, etc.