We Need Your Feedback
We want you to tell us what you would like to see on our posts; more recipes, more information about the same herbs and spices, or do you want to know about different ones?If so,which? Please leave answers to these questions in the comments boxes.We have made it easier for you to do this (today). If you have any other advice or a recipe that you would like us to include, tell us (recipes will be attributed to you).
Friday, March 16, 2012
SCURVY-GRASS-WITH VITAMIN C: HISTORY, HEALTH BENEFITS AND USES OF SCURVY-GRASS
SCURVY-GRASS, SPOONWORT, COCHLEARIA OFFICINALIS
Scurvy-grass, was as its name suggest used to combat a lack of vitamin C or scurvy and sailors needed this on their long sea voyages in the past just as the peasants of Europe needed vitamin C after long winters. This particular member of the Cochlearia genus grows close to the sea on cliffs and rocky ledges, and is a member of the Brassicaceae family of plants along with the cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi,mustard, watercress, rocket, kale, mooli, radish, horseradish, and turnips.
Seville or bitter oranges, and the sap of brooklime or water pimpernel. This was especially effective at healing spongy and bleeding gums which are symptoms of scurvy.
It is best harvested in late spring or early summer and dried for later use, although in areas where it is rare, it should be left alone. These days we don’t suffer from scurvy in the Northern hemisphere.
The name of the genus, Cochlearia comes from the Greek kokhliaron meaning spoon, hence the other English name for this plant, spoonwort, or spoon plant; koklos also means seashell, perhaps related to the fact that this particular scurvy-grass lives close to the sea.
Writing in the 17th century, Nicholas Culpeper acknowledges that there are several types of scurvy-grass but has this to say about Cochlearia officinalis:
“Government and virtues. The sea scurvy-grass is frequently used in scorbutic remedies along with the other, but wanting its fine volatile parts, it seems not so prevalent, but abounding more in saline, it may be used to good purpose as a diuretic.”