Cochléaire, Cochléaire Officinale, Cochlearia officinalis, Coclearia, Cranson, Cranson Officinal, Herbe aux Cuillères, Herbe au Scorbut, Hierba del Escorbuto, Scrubby Grass, Spoonwort.
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.
How does it work?
Scurvy grass contains a high concentration of vitamin C. It may also be able to fight bacteria and act as a laxative.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Vitamin C deficiency.
- Skin irritation, when applied directly to the affected area.
- Gum disease, when applied directly to the affected area.
- Other conditions.
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).
LithiumInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Scurvy grass might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking scurvy grass might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
The appropriate dose of scurvy grass depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for scurvy grass. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Chevallier A. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. 2nd ed. New York, NY: DK Publ, Inc., 2000.