Nasturtiums make a stunning ground-cover or massed display along fences and can be grown in pots or hanging baskets. They are such an easy plant to grow in full sun as well as part shade. They even seem to remain happy in dry gardens. Nasturtiums will tolerate a wide range of soil types, but a moderately fertile soil is best. This is one flower that you do not want to over-fertilize though.
All parts of the nasturtium plant are edible and have a peppery flavor. The flowers and or leaves can be used in egg and cheese dishes, added to salads, soups or sandwiches. The leaves can be made into pesto – place 2 handfuls of leaves, 3 cloves of grated garlic, 2 tbsp. chopped almonds into a food processor and process add ½ cup of Parmesan cheese then slowly add ½ cup olive oil. This can be used to add flavor to pasta, cooked meat, corn cobs, or bruschetta.
Also, the seeds or young flower buds can be pickled in vinegar and spices and eaten in a similar fashion to capers. Pick only young pods that are still green and soft.
Who would have ever thought that a flower could be so beneficial? Even if those great ways to use them in recipes wasn't enough; how about their medicinal uses? Nasturtiums are anti-microbial, antibiotic, and antiseptic and contain high amounts of vitamin C. The pungent and bitter principals make it a good blood cleanser; it stimulates the liver, pancreas and gall-bladder aiding the body’s elimination of toxins.
Internally an infusion of the leaves and flowers can benefit any bacterial infection but it is especially effective for respiratory and chest infections such as bronchitis, common cold, and even the flu, helping to reduce the formation of phlegm.
To learn more about nasturtium flowers, visit The Herbal Greenhouse website to find a variety of information on herbs, as well as flowers when it comes to medicinal uses of mother nature.
Here is a very nice recipe for an herbal flower vinegar that was found at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Nasturtium and Garlic Chive Flower Vinegar
Makes 2 cups
Add a few flowers to the bottle after straining. It will look pretty and remind you of the vinegar's flavor.
- 1/2 cup nasturtium flowers
- 1/2 cup garlic chive flowers
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
1. Combine the nasturtium flowers, garlic chive flowers, and vinegar in a steeping container. Attach a lid. Set the container in a cool, dark place, shaking every couple of days.
2. Taste after a week, then filter (or let it steep longer until the flavor is to your liking). Pour into bottles, cap tightly, seal if desired, and label.