phytochemicals Phytochemicals

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Indian Cress

Indian Cress

Tropaeolum majus

What is indian cress?

Indian cress forms a low bush or a trailing plant. Indian cress is perennial in frost free areas only. The Indian cress has almost round leaves and typical trumpet shaped bright coloured flowers. The seeds are large and round.

Parts used

The whole plant of Indian cress is used, but mainly the leaves and flowers are harvested to be eaten raw or be dried and used for making tea.


These are typical phytochemicals found in indian cress: glucotrapeoline, benzyl isothiocyanate, .

Benefits of indian cress

Indian cress has diuretic and antibacterial activity. Indian cress is used to treat wounds and infections of the urinary tract and the respiratory tract (such as bronchitis, anginas and flu). The benzyl isothiocyanate is responsible for this antibiotic action of Indian cress. Benzyl isothiocyanate can also cause irritation, therefore the internal use of Indian cress should not be exaggerated.

Traditionally, Indian cress has been used as a stimulant for hair growth.

Other facts

Indian cress originates from the Peru. Indian cress is often planted in gardens and its leaves and flowers are used to decorate dishes or eaten with salad. Indian cress is rich in vitamin C.

Other names


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