Tropaeolum majus Linn

Habitat ► Native to South America; grown as an ornamental and salad herb.

English ► Garden Nasturtium, Indian Cress, Climbing-Nasturtium.

Action ► Leaves—an infusion increases resistance to bacterial infections, reduces catarrh formation and expels phlegm. Juice of the plant—given internally for treating scrofula. Flowers—used for healing wounds. Seeds— purgative.

Common Nasturtium contains glu-cocyanates (including glycotropeo-line), spilanthol, myrosin (an enzyme), oxalic acid and vitamin C. The leaves from the young plant showed greater antibiotic activity than the stems; roots were inactive.

Extracts and preparations of T. majus are found efficacious in the infections of urinary and respiratory tract, but have no effect on infections of the biliary tract or in typhoid fever.

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