Herb: Common Pepperweed


Latin name: Lepidium densiflorum


Family: Cruciferae



Medicinal use of Common Pepperweed:

The leaves have been chewed in the treatment of headaches. An infusion of the plant has been used in the treatment of kidney problems. It has also been used as a dietary aid for a person trying to lose weight.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Annual/Biennial


Height:
50 cm
(1 foot)

Flovering:
May to
July

Habitat of the herb:

Dry soils. Meadows, pastures, arable land, waste places, walls etc. Sandy soils in disturbed areas in Texas.

Edible parts of Common Pepperweed:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A hot cress-like flavour, they are used in spring and early summer, the young leaves are best. Immature seedpods - a hot pungent taste, they are used as a flavouring. Seed - used as a mustard-like flavouring. The 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 mildly-pungent but bitter mustard.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring or late summer in situ. Germination should take place within 3 weeks.

Cultivation of Common Pepperweed:

Dry soils. Meadows, pastures, arable land, waste places, walls etc. Sandy soils in disturbed areas in Texas.

Known hazards of Lepidium densiflorum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.