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Nasturtiums, The Medicinal Flower

Updated: May 8, 2022

Nasturtiums are brightly colored annuals that are native to South America, used by many gardeners because they say nasturtiums help repel certain bugs from attacking vegetation. They're also grown for the flowers and leaves which have a peppery flavor profile for salads and stir fry dishes (if I can be honest, they taste like perfume to me), and for the immature seeds which are pickled and used in place of expensive capers. Some people even refer to them as "poor man's capers". But did you know that nasturtiums have medicinal properties?

(Peach Melba nasturtium in my garden)


  • glycoside (creates antibiotic sulphur compounds)

  • mineral salts

  • iron

  • potash

  • phosphates

  • bitters


  • diuretic

  • antiseptic

  • antimicrobial

  • antifungal

  • antibiotic

  • expectorant

  • antibiotic

Parts used: seeds, flowers, and leaves

(Glorious Gleam Nasturtium in my garden)

What Ailments Do Nasturtiums Help With?

The bitters in nasturtiums are pungent and help stimulate the digestive system to improve digestion and appetite, as well as absorption. They also stimulate liver function, the gallbladder and pancreas which all play a part in healthy bowel function. Nasturtiums act as a diuretic, so in combination with it's antibiotic and antimicrobial characteristics, it can help with urinary tract infections and fluid retention. It's a great blood cleanser, circulation improver, and helps boost immunity because it's high in vitamin C, trace elements and minerals. So if you've got a cold, make some nasturtium tea, especially if your congested and tired.

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Oh wow! I'm from South American and I've never had these. I'm going to have to definitely look them up. I love adding flowers to salads. It just adds so much color to the plate. I also love that this plant is full of so much nutritional value.


Great information. This is actually my first time hearing about this flower. I'm trying to become a green thumb and looking for new flowers and other things to grow. I'm going to add this one to my list.



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