Lepidium diandrum Medik.
Lepidium gerloffianum Vatke ex Thell.
Lepidium horstii Johow ex Skottsb.
Lepidium majus Darracq
Lepidium micropterum Miq.
Lepidium praecox DC.
Nasturtium majus Kuntze
Common Name: Wild Pepper Grass
Wild pepper grass is an annual to biennial plant growing 20 - 70cm tall. The erect stem is usually only branched towards the top, but is sometimes many-branched[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine.
N. America - Quebec to Minnesota, south to Florida and Colorado. Widely naturalized in the tropics.
Dry sandy soils[
] in waste places and by roads[
]. Avoids dense woods and wet places[
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils.
Originally from N. America, this species has become a naturalized weed in many areas from the temperate zone to the tropics[
Young leaves - raw or cooked[
]. The leaves are a rich source of vitamin C[
] and have a hot cress-like flavour[
]. Chopped finely and added to salads, used as a garnish or cooked as greens[
Unripe seedpods have a pleasantly pungent flavour and can be eaten raw[
] or used as a condiment in soups and stews[
The seed is a pepper substitute[
The leaves of wild pepper-grass are nutritious and generally detoxifying, they have been used to treat vitamin C deficiency and diabetes, and to expel intestinal worms[
]. The herb is also diuretic and of benefit in easing rheumatic pain[
]. A sweetened decoction of the plant is sometimes administered to babies suffering from colic, and it is a domestic remedy for affections of the stomach and intestines[
North American Indians used the bruised fresh plant, or a tea made from the leaves to treat poison ivy rash and scurvy[
]. A poultice of the leaves was applied to the chest in the treatment of croup[
The seed is antiasthmatic, antitussive, cardiotonic and diuretic[
]. It is used in the treatment of coughs and asthma with excessive phlegm, oedema, oliguria and liquid accumulation in the thoraco-abdominal cavity[
The root is used to treat excess catarrh within the respiratory tract[
A poultice of the bruised roots has been used to draw out blisters[
Seed - sow in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks.
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