Garden Nasturtium – beauty from Peru
Garden Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is an easy herb that attracts us when we are in every garden Tropaeolum has some of the tastiest and most beautiful flowers of various colours. As an excellent medicinal plant without adverse side effects, it grows and blooms tirelessly until the first frosts. Why do we do not grow it in gardens more often?
Description: Decorative annual herb comes from homeland between Peru and Colombia, where it can reach a length of liana up to 5 m. The leaves are similar to the shield. Wonderful funnel-shaped flowers have a striking spur and bloom from pale yellow through orange, red to red-brown colour in mid-June until the first frost.
Cultivation: Tropaeolum is sown in April to the soil so that spring ground frost will not damage the plant. It thrives in full sun, and it is sensitive to frost. In the penumbra, the plant does not bloom much. Nasturtium is typeset about 20 cm apart.
Use in the kitchen: The whole plant has a slightly sharp flavour, similar to the radish, cress, watercress, or pepper. Leaves, buds and flowers are used in salads and canapes. The flowers have a delicious sweet-spicy flavour and are used for decorating dishes in summer drinks and smoothies. Finely chopped leaves are scattered to soups, salads, or mixed into cheese and yoghurt dips. Sliced leaves are also often delicious with bread and butter, as well as a filling in rolls with rice. Young finely chopped seeds are used as a substitute for horseradish in tartar sauce. Pickled flower buds in vinegar resemble capers.
Pasta salad full of health, not only for vegetarians – 8 servings
500 grammes of pasta
4 tomatoes or a handful of cherry tomatoes
2 sweet peppers
1 chilli pepper of cayenne type
200 grammes of Edam cheese
chives (Allium schoenoprasum), stick of Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum)
3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
for decorating - 10 nasturtium flowers, some currant tomatoes and yellow chilli Aji Charapita
Procedure: Firstly, boil the pasta according to the instructions in slightly salted water. After cooking the pasta, mix chopped vegetables and pour olive oil. Garnish with nasturtium flowers, currant cherry tomatoes and chillies of Aji Charapita.
Use in folk medicine: Nasturtiums have been used in herbal medicine for the abilities to stimulate the appetite, help digestion and for a large number of antibiotic compounds. South American Indians used it for healing wounds. The plant was brought to Europe from South America in the 17th century. Supposedly it acts as an aphrodisiac. Janča considers nasturtium in his herbarium to be one of the largest weapons from the arsenal of phytotherapy. The main effect is in urogenital, where the drug acts significantly antibiotic and active against a broad spectrum of disease such as staphylococci, streptococci, Proteus vulgaris, Escherichia coli, Salmonella. The effect is also reflected in the area of the respiratory tract. The herb is used as a natural treatment for hair loss and remedy for hair growth.
Curiosity at the end: Nasturtiums can be used as bait for aphids that love it. Typeset it around plants or trees that aphids attack. Aphid settles into nasturtium leaves so trees and flowers are untouched. Nasturtium is tastier for them.