Saturday, February 21, 2015

Watercress Soup Is The Best Cure For That Awful, Persistent Cough



I know. 

It isn't the sexiest cough cure around. 

It's not even exotic. It's just a plain vegetable.

But today I shall praises of the humble watercress because it is a well-known cure for the sort of incurable, annoying and keep-you-awake-at-night coughing sessions.

So what's in the watercress? 

In the West, it is commonly eaten fresh and raw in a salad or sandwich. 

Here in Malaysia, I've always eaten this cooked in soups. Never raw. 

So what's so fascinating about watercress? 


  • Watercress' botanical name is Nasturtium officinale. 
  • It is a fast grower in aquatic or semi-aquatic environments. It usually grows in ditches rapidly. 
  • It is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables eaten by humans.
  • The plant is native to Europe and Asia. 
  • It has a peppery flavour and is related to the cabbage and mustard family. 
  • The town of Alresford, near Winchester, UK holds a Watercress Festival that brings in more than 15,000 visitors every year. Alabama in the US is considered the Watercress Capital of the World.
  • Watercress contains significant amounts of iron, calcium, iodine, manganese, folic acid, vitamins A, B6, C, and K.
  • Its high Vitamin C makes it a good remedy for scurvy. It is also a significant source of Omega 3 fatty acids. 
  • It is believed to help with lung cancer.
  • It has more calcium than milk and more Vitamin C than orange.
  • Raw watercress may have greater cancer-fighting power than cooked watercress, as cooking inactivates the myrosinase enzyme that is responsible for hydrolyzing glucosinolates to beneficial isothiocyanates (says this article).






watercress vegetable cure for cough
Watercress is a cheap and plentiful vegetable sold in most wet markets across Penang. 


I've often found that watercress or any vegetable or herb usually is a much better cure for ailments and illnesses compared to medicines or cough syrups or cough tablets.

I also believe that eating something green, natural and healthy like watercress is a more positive method to combat coughs.

In Cantonese, watercress is known as "sai yeung choi" which I believe translates loosely to Western vegetable.

There is a "Sai Yeung Choi Road" in Hong Kong and yes I have walked down this street before, but I didn't see anyone selling watercress!

I guess I am a big believer in Mother Nature. If you'd like a watercress soup recipe, try this.

If you don't take pork, substitute with chicken. It still tastes good.

If you want a vegan version of watercress soup, I have one just for you too.



watercress vegetable cure for cough
Watercress leaf 


For more research or studies using watercress, considered a super food, check out http://www.watercress.com/watercressresearch.aspx

For raw watercress recipes, check out Martha Stewart's recipes

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