The bitter foam herb, also as false watercress known. It is a weed with a wide range of uses and effects. It is also used as a medicinal plant in a wide variety of ways.
The bitter foam herb belongs to the cruciferous family and is a perennial plant.
The bitter foam herbbelongs to the cruciferous family and is a perennial plant. The plant is between ten and sixty centimeters high and has an angular, woody stem. The leaves emerge from the roots and form near the soil. The stems, which can also grow through the winter, are also covered with leaves, which usually settle on smaller stems. The leaflets do not form rosettes and have a rounded tip at the end.
The flowers, which bloom between April and July, are white and arranged in grapes. The four white petals have reddish stamens in the middle. The seeds of the bitter foam herb develop from the pods of the withered petals. The parts of the plant are collected all year round. However, the leaves of the bitter foam herb are mainly used.
The bitter foam herb is native to Central Europe and Asia. It mainly grows in a moist environment. Ditches and stream beds slightly in the shade provide a cool, clay-like and nutrient-rich soil. There is an increased occurrence in the montane area and the false watercress can be found especially in the Bavarian Forest.
The use of the bitter foam herb is rather rare in herbal medicine. When used as a natural remedy, it is mainly used for spring tiredness and metabolic weakness. It stimulates the organism and has a diuretic effect. The high proportion of vitamin C regulates a deficiency in this vitamin. For this reason, it has been used in the past to treat scurvy (a vitamin deficiency disease).
Other ingredients in bitter foam herb are mustard oil and bitter substances. To stimulate the digestion and metabolism, dried foam herb is drunk as a tea. The dried leaves are poured over with hot, no longer boiling water. After a steeping time of up to fifteen minutes, the tea is strained and drunk. This application is very rare and not common.
The leaves of the bitter foam herb can be used as a tincture to treat rheumatism. Here, the leaves are poured with alcohol and steep in a sealed vessel for two weeks. From time to time the vessel should be shaken. After the steeping time, the tincture is filtered and filled into dark bottles to protect the tincture from sunlight. The mustard oil it contains makes it very effective against infections and inflammation, provided that the freshly harvested leaves are used.
The bitter foam herb is also used in spring cures. The stimulating effect accelerates the metabolism and helps detoxification. The main use of the bitter foam herb is in wild cooking and is comparable to the use of real watercress. The slightly bitter tasting leaves are pleasantly spicy and slightly hot. Freshly collected, they are served as a salad in combination with other wild herbs.
If the leaves are finely cut, they can be mixed with quark and eaten as a spread. Foam cabbage is added to bread as a spice. The leaves should be used sparingly, as too many at once will cause a taste that is too bitter. Due to the bitter aftertaste, the bitter foam herb is also often under the name Bitter cress known. A bitter substance that mainly contributes to the taste has not yet been examined more closely.
The bitter foam herb is not widely used in medicinal medicine. The resemblance to the watercress is very high. For this reason, collectors should have sufficient knowledge and should not equate the application entirely with that of watercress. However, many teas contain little bitter foam herb. Care products in cosmetics also contain a proportion of foam herb.
In combination with watercress, it can be found in hair care products and cures. Due to the high content of vitamin C, it is mainly found in teas, which have a preventive effect. If the bitter foam herb is taken in too high a dose, in rare cases mild stomach and intestinal complaints can occur. It is not recommended for children under four years of age.
Due to the irritation of the stomach lining and kidneys, the bitter foam herb should not be taken during pregnancy. The effect can lead to bleeding and in the worst case to a discharge. Due to the stimulating effect of labor, premature birth can occur. If leaves of the plant are collected, make sure that they are harvested from clean streams and graves. You should refrain from picking the wild plants on streams near a sheep pasture. There is a risk here of absorbing a liver fluke in the organism.
It should be consumed fresh, because after long periods of storage it loses vitamin C and wilts very quickly. The bitter foam herb can usually be bought in dried form or as a component of spices. The plant and the leaves themselves are seldom offered for sale because transport is very laborious. When treating with bitter foam herb, sufficient information should be available and this should be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist.