Watercress is a plant. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.
Watercress is used for swollen breathing passages in the lung, coughs, bronchitis, flu, and swine flu. Other uses include treating baldness, constipation, parasitic worms, cancer, goiter, polyps, scurvy, and tuberculosis. Watercress is also used to improve appetite and digestion, to enhance sexual arousal, to kill germs, and as a “Spring tonic.” Women sometimes use it to cause an abortion.
Some people apply watercress directly to the skin for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, earache, eczema, scabies, and warts.
In foods, watercress is widely used in leaf salads and as a culinary spice.
How does it work?
Watercress may be able to fight bacteria. It can also increase the amount of urine produced by the body (diuretic).
- Reducing swelling (inflammation) of the lungs.
- Hair loss.
- Other conditions.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- Other conditions.
Watercress seems safe for most people in food amounts and in medicinal amounts when used short-term. When used in large amounts or long-term, it can cause stomach upset or kidney problems.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Children: Watercress is UNSAFE for use as a medicine in children, especially in those younger than four years old.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Watercress is UNSAFE in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. It might start menstruation and cause a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the use of watercress during breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Don’t use watercress if you have stomach or intestinal ulcers.
Kidney disease: Don’t use watercress if you have kidney disease.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of watercress for these uses.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte, Paraflex) interacts with WATERCRESS
The body breaks down chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte, Paraflex) to get rid of it. Watercress might decrease how quickly the body breaks down chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte, Paraflex). Taking watercress along with chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte, Paraflex) might increase the effects and side effects of chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte, Paraflex).
- Lithium interacts with WATERCRESS
Watercress might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking watercress might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
- Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with WATERCRESS
Watercress contains large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, watercress might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.