Scurvy grass gets its name from the fact that sailors used to take it to prevent a disease called scurvy. People get scurvy when they don’t get enough vitamin C (vitamin C deficiency), which is found in citrus fruits. Scurvy was a frequent problem among sailors who couldn’t get fresh fruit while at sea.
People take scurvy grass for vitamin C deficiency, gout, arthritis, stomachache, and fluid retention. It is also used as a “blood purifier.”
Some people apply scurvy grass directly to the affected area for skin irritations, canker sores, and gum disease.
Scurvy grass (Cochlearia officinalis) is sometimes called watercress. Be careful not to confuse it with watercress (Nasturtium officinale). You can tell the difference because scurvy grass flowers have a strong fragrance and taste when they are rubbed.
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