Scurvy Grass

What other names is Scurvy Grass known by?

Cochléaire, Cochléaire Officinale, Cochlearia officinalis, Coclearia, Cranson, Cranson Officinal, Herbe aux Cuillères, Herbe au Scorbut, Hierba del Escorbuto, Scrubby Grass, Spoonwort.

What is Scurvy Grass?

Scurvy grass is an herb. Its leaves and flowering parts are used to make medicine.

Scurvy grass gets its name from the fact that sailors used to take it to prevent a disease called scurvy. People get scurvy when they don't get enough vitamin C (vitamin C deficiency), which is found in citrus fruits. Scurvy was a frequent problem among sailors who couldn't get fresh fruit while at sea.

People take scurvy grass for vitamin C deficiency, gout, arthritis, stomachache, and fluid retention. It is also used as a "blood purifier."

Some people apply scurvy grass directly to the affected area for skin irritations, canker sores, and gum disease.

Scurvy grass (Cochlearia officinalis) is sometimes called watercress. Be careful not to confuse it with watercress (Nasturtium officinale). You can tell the difference because scurvy grass flowers have a strong fragrance and taste when they are rubbed.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Vitamin C deficiency.
  • Gout.
  • Arthritis.
  • Stomachache.
  • Skin irritation, when applied directly to the affected area.
  • Gum disease, when applied directly to the affected area.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of scurvy grass for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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