Watercress

By Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor

Uses

What is watercress used for?

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

Watercress is used for:

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?

There are not enough studies about how watercress works. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for more information. However, it is known that watercress may be able to fight bacteria. It can also increase the amount of urine produced by the body (diuretic).

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using watercress?

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist or herbalist, if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription.
  • You have allergy with any substances of watercress or other medications or other herbs.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

The regulations for an herb/supplement are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking this herb/supplement must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your herbalist or doctor for more information.

How safe is watercress?

Watercress seems safe for most people in food amounts and in medicinal amounts when used short-term.

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.

Side effects

What kind of side effects may I have from watercress?

When used in large amounts or long-term, it can cause stomach upset or kidney problems.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your herbalist or doctor.

Interactions

What interactions may I have with watercress?

Watercress may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your herbalist or doctor before using.

Products that may interact with watercress include:

  • Chlorzoxazone

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

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

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.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.

What is the usual dose for watercress?

The dose for watercress may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Herb/Supplements are not always safe. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for your appropriate dosage.

What form does watercress come in?

Watercress may be available in the following dosage forms:

  • Fresh watercress
  • Watercresscapsules, softgels
  • Watercress liquid extract

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

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Review Date: August 4, 2017 | Last Modified: December 4, 2019

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