A.Vogel plant encyclopaedia

Tropaeolum majus L.

Nasturtium: Spicy speciality

Beauty from the garden

Tropaeolum majus L. (Nasturtium)

Similar to the potato, tomato or sunflower, nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) originates from South America. With its red, orange or bright yellow flowers, the plant, also known as the "Peruvian fire flower", is a beautiful summer ornament in the garden and even thrives in boxes on the balcony.

The fresh flowers, leaves and buds are particularly appreciated in French cuisine. With their slightly peppery taste, the chopped leaves season egg and potato dishes, herb butter, cottage cheese and salads.

Savoury touch


The flowers also add a zesty note. It is best to use the mineral-rich young leaves - their aroma is particularly special. Older leaves are already harder and taste unpleasantly harsh. Use both the flowers and the leaves only fresh and raw. They are not suitable for cooking, drying and freezing, although this is sometimes recommended.

Attention: People with a sensitive stomach or intestines should dose carefully; the blood-cleansing and purifying plant can irritate the intestines and kidneys under certain circumstances. Nasturtium is high in vitamin C, iron, sulphur and antibiotic glycosinolates (hence the pungency).

Eating fresh nasturtium or freshly squeezed juice can possibly help to prevent many bacteria, viruses and Candida group yeasts from developing in the first place.


Very special vinegar


A special vinegar can be made from the blossoms: Inspect a handful of flowers for insects, carefully rinse in cold water if necessary, and place in a decorative bottle. Add half a litre of good wine vinegar. Leave on a sunny windowsill for two weeks, then store it dark. The flowers can remain in the bottle.

Inhibitory effect on the influenza virus


A study conducted since 2010 even suggests an inhibitory effect against the H1N1 influenza virus. This great potential was also the deciding factor in its selection as medicinal plant of the year 2013.




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