History of Watercress

Watercress was one of the first plants man has cultivated and consumed.  It is an ancient plant whose origin can be traced back to the Romans and Greeks.

Watercress was popularly used by the Greeks to keep their liver healthy and their blood clean.  They have also used it as a tonic to keep their overall health in tiptop shape.  In fact, since the first century, man has used watercress as a medicinal herb.

It was given to children to aid in their growth and was often recommended as cure for derangement and other mental diseases.

In the 1800s, this aquatic plant, added with a bit of lemon and sugar, was popular as a tea in Southern England.

The Romans on the other hand have utilized the strong peppery taste of watercress in salads where only oil and vinegar were added to make it flavourful.

The zing it gives to salads made watercress popular everywhere.  It was first reportedly grown in Germany by Nicholas Messier during the 16th century.  A farmer near London was said to be the one who brought attention to watercress in England.

However, it wasn’t until the 19th century when commercial cultivation of watercress began.  It was introduced in the West Indies, in South America, Canada and the United States, where it was naturalized.

This is because the US has plenty of running water combined with the right climatic conditions which the watercress thrives in.  These make commercial watercress growing in the US balloon.  Today, the world’s biggest watercress grower is in the United States.

A native in Europe and Asia, watercress is a herb that is full of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iodine, potassium, Vitamins A, E and C.


One Response to “History of Watercress”

  1. Susan says:

    Is watercress high in iron