We discover a new medicinal plant whose scientific name is Cardamine pratensis, although it is known by common names. It has a large number of medicinal effects both in topical application (fresh leaves in salad, infusions, dry extract, etc.) or through poultices, for the relief of muscle pain and rheumatic processes.
We will know a little about the places where we can find this plant and how to grow it, its flowering and propagation (through seeds).
We can find Cardamine pratensis spread throughout Europe (including cold countries) and different parts of Asia. It has also been naturalized in some parts of North America, which is used to decorate urban environments.
It is a plant that has a quite striking flowering, pinkish in color and 4 petals in the shape of a cross.
The plant does not usually exceed 50 cm in height and is commonly used as an ornamental plant in numerous gardens in humid environments (parks, near ponds, rivers, etc.)
Common names used
- Meadow watercress
- Mastuerzo (not to be confused with Lepidium sativum)
- Mastuerzo of the meadows
- Meadow agrion
Its name comes from the Greek kardamis (which refers to a particular species of watercress, and of taste very similar to Cardamine pratensis) and pratensis, which means or refers to meadows, an environment where it can also be seen growing spontaneously.
In general, young leaves, shoots and all aerial parts, including flowers, are used.
Belongs to the family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae, accompanying other known species such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbages, kale, etc.
Cardamine pratensis it grows in humid environments and soils, which may receive shade cover from larger trees. It usually abounds and grows wild surrounding streams, lakes or ponds.
As for development, it prefers acid-type soils (pH below 6.5) and clay soils or soils that store moisture well.
It is very resistant to low temperatures and withstands blunt frosts.
It can grow in areas of shade, semi-shade or full sun, although it prefers the first 2 situations
Seed sow outdoors in a seedbed in a shaded position in April. Plant in autumn or spring. Division in spring or autumn. The plant produces young plants at the base of its flakes. When they are large enough, they can easily separate from the main plant and grow as individual plants.
Cardamine pratensis can be sown in spring or autumn, when the risk of frost decreases. Direct sowing is recommended.
The flowering of Cardamine pratensis it occurs in the months of April and June. Its flowers are hemaphrodites and have entomophilic pollination, that is, by bees, bumblebees and other insects. Self-fertile plant.
The seeds are perfectly formed and ripe from May to July.
Medicinal uses of cardamine pratensis
- Glycoside, (glucococlearin)
- Vitamin C
- Glucosinolate, 3- (hydroxymethyl) pentylglucosinolate
- Antirheumatic (application by poultice)
- Antiscorbutic (application by infusion)
- Antispasmodic (application by infusion)
- Carminative (application by infusion)
- Digestive (application by infusion)
- Diuretic (application by infusion)
- Stimulant (application by infusion)
How to take cardamine pratensis
Pour 1 cup of hot water with 2 tablespoons of cardamine extract coffee. Take 1 to 2 cups daily before or after meals.
Pcan be taken alone or together with others digestive plants.
Crush the fresh plant (leaves and tender shoots) into a cloth or mesh and remove all the juice. It can also be made by a mortar or with a garlic pick. We can take 2 tablespoons of juice a day.
Grind dry leaves to a fine powder. Mix 1 teaspoon of coffee with water and take daily.
Compresses and poultices
Starting from half a cup of hot water, and pouring 2 tablespoons of coffee extract cardamine pratensis. Soak a compress or towel and apply for 10 minutes on the skin to relieve rheumatic pain.
Its flavor is a mixture between bitter and spicy (similar to radishes) and has a high amount of vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin C). Its flavor is somewhat similar to watercress, so it is perfectly compatible with the preparation of salads (combined with fruits, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, etc.).
Leaves and tender shoots can be taken raw or cooked. Flowers can also be taken raw if they are harvested before full ripening or when they lose water.