Leaves – can be eaten raw or cooked. Water cress is mainly used as a garnish or as an addition to salads. Water Cress has a radish flavor and slightly hot taste. The leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially iron. The seed can be sprouted and eaten in salads. A hot radishy flavor. The seed is ground into a powder and used as a mustard. The pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild but bitter mustard.
Medicinal Uses : Watercress is very rich in vitamins and minerals, and has long been valued as a food and medicinal plant. Considered a cleansing herb, its high content of vitamin C makes it a remedy that is particularly valuable for chronic illnesses. The leaves are antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, purgative, hypoglycaemic, odontalgic, stimulant and stomachic. The plant has been used as a specific in the treatment of TB. The freshly pressed juice has been used internally and externally in the treatment of chest and kidney complaints, chronic irritations and inflammations of the skin etc. A poultice of the leaves is said to be an effective treatment for healing glandular tumours or lymphatic swellings. Some caution is advised, excessive use of the plant can lead to stomach upsets. The leaves can be harvested almost throughout the year and are used fresh. (source: wikipedia)
A word of caution: Plants that are growing in water that drains from fields where animals graze should not be used raw. This is due to the risk of it being infested with the liver fluke parasite. Cooking the leaves will destroy any parasites and make the plant safe to eat.
Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!