Also known by the names of nasturtiums, mastruço, Mexican watercress, turkey watercress, Indian watercress, large flowering hood, capucina, capucina, five nasturtiums, blood flower, capuchin and many other names, the capuchin is a medicinal plant that can be easily found in health food stores, in addition to some compounding pharmacies.With the scientific name tropaeolum majus l., the  plant is creeping and has a soft, twisted and succulent stem, in addition to the rounded leaves that have a light green color. Its flowers are isolated along the penduncle with shades ranging from white to darker red, passing through orange, salmon and yellow, for example.

Its edible fruit has a greenish color and is formed by three small achenes. It has a fresh, spicy flavor that is a little reminiscent of watercress, and its leaves can also be eaten in the form of a salad.

It originates from Peru and Mexico, but is currently spread around the world, doing well in places with mild climate, but tolerating others, as long as it is fertilized with organic matter and irrigated.

Benefits and properties

The plant is indicated for the treatment of urinary tract infections, acne, skin allergies, wound healing, depression, fluid retention, digestive problems, insomnia, aging skin, strengthening of the scalp, lack of appetite, scurvy and eczema. It can also be used to treat cough, bronchitis, respiratory problems, flu, colds, oral problems and hair care – dandruff –.

Its benefits come from its properties, which involve action as an antibiotic, expectorant, disinfectant, digestive, antiseptic, depurative, digestive, stimulant, sedative, purgative and diuretic.

How to consume?

The parts that can be used for consumption are flowers and leaves for the preparation of teas, infusions, juices and salads. Fruit can also be consumed. The consumption of raw leaves and flowers in the form of salads helps to fight the flu at first, in addition to favoring digestion and opening up the appetite.

how to prepare tea

To prepare the tea, you will need:

– Four spoons of chopped capuchin or two seeds

– A liter of water

To prepare, put the water in a container and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add the herb. Cover and let the mixture rest and warm for approximately 10 minutes. Strain and then consume. It is recommended to drink between three and four cups a day. If the use is external, the water must be reduced by half.