Herb: Rocket Candytuft

Latin name: Iberis amara

Family: Cruciferae

Medicinal use of Rocket Candytuft:

Little used in modern herbalism, rocket candytuft is a bitter-tasting tonic, aiding digestion and relieving wind and bloating. It is traditionally taken to treat gout, rheumatism and arthritis. All parts of the plant are antirheumatic and antiscorbutic. The seeds are considered very useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and dropsy. The plant is gathered in the summer and can be dried for later use. The seeds are harvested when fully ripe. A common homeopathic remedy is made from the seeds.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

to July


Habitat of the herb:

Dry calcareous soils on hillsides and in cornfields.

Edible parts of Rocket Candytuft:

The seeds are sometimes used as a source of mustard. Pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed - an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 - 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild bitter mustard.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in situ for summer flowering or late summer in situ for a spring flowering. The seed germinates within 3 weeks.

Cultivation of Rocket Candytuft:

Dry calcareous soils on hillsides and in cornfields.

Known hazards of Iberis amara:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.