Agriao, Berro, Berro di Agua, Berros, Brunnenkresse, Crescione di Fonte, Cresson, Cresson au Poulet, Cresson d'eau, Cresson de Fontaine, Cresson de Ruisseau, Cresson Officinal, Indian Cress, Jal-Halim, Mizu-Garashi, Nasilord, Nasturtii Herba, Nasturtium officinale, Oranda-Garashi, Radicula nasturtium, Rorippa nasturtium, Scurvy Grass, Sisymbrium nasturtium, Selada-Air, Tall Nasturtium, Wasserkresse, Waterkres.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Watercress is a plant. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.

Watercress is used for swollen breathing passages in the lung, coughs, bronchitis, flu, and swine flu. Other uses include treating baldness, constipation, parasitic worms, cancer, goiter, polyps, scurvy, and tuberculosis. Watercress is also used to improve appetite and digestion, to enhance sexual arousal, to kill germs, and as a “Spring tonic.” Women sometimes use it to cause an abortion.

Some people apply watercress directly to the skin for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, earache, eczema, scabies, and warts.

In foods, watercress is widely used in leaf salads and as a culinary spice.

How does it work?

Watercress may be able to fight bacteria. It can also increase the amount of urine produced by the body (diuretic).


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Coughs.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Reducing swelling (inflammation) of the lungs.
  • Hair loss.
  • Flu.
  • Constipation.
  • Other conditions.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN: More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of watercress for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Watercress seems safe for most people in food amounts and in medicinal amounts when used short-term. When used in large amounts or long-term, it can cause stomach upset or kidney problems.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Watercress is UNSAFE for use as a medicine in children, especially in those younger than four years old.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Watercress is UNSAFE in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. It might start menstruation and cause a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the use of watercress during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Don’t use watercress if you have stomach or intestinal ulcers.

Kidney disease: Don’t use watercress if you have kidney disease.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte, Paraflex) interacts with WATERCRESS

    The body breaks down chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte, Paraflex) to get rid of it. Watercress might decrease how quickly the body breaks down chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte, Paraflex). Taking watercress along with chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte, Paraflex) might increase the effects and side effects of chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte, Paraflex).

  • Lithium interacts with WATERCRESS

    Watercress might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking watercress might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with WATERCRESS

    Watercress contains large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, watercress might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.



The appropriate dose of watercress depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for watercress. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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