Watercress – what a wonderful weed

Watercress grows wild in the ditches and creeks around the lodge, and we are lucky to have an area available that the farm animals cannot get to, where the water is lovely and pure. Spring has sprung with a vengeance here after the recent snowy weather, and the watercress is happily sprouting away!

Watercress is one of the oldest known green leafy vegetables consumed by human beings. It is a member of the same family as mustard greens and grows naturally in New Zealand. It is called Puha or Rauriki by Maori, who used to chew the milky sap as chewing gum.

Watercress is said to be (yet another) superfood as it is a very good source of vitamins and minerals! It’s delicious too. Spring watercress is very bright green and the leaves are beautifully tender.

It has lots of other uses apart from being good to eat! It acts as a blood purifier, helps with constipation, is anti-inflammatory, has sedative qualities and may also have anti-cancer qualities. Externally it is used for boils and carbuncles, to stop bleeding, as a poultice and as a remedy for toothache. It can also  be used as an insecticide.


I’ve been using watercress in salads, soups and sandwiches because it tastes great. I’ve found it goes particularly well with walnuts, oranges and mustard. I made a watercress and orange salad, drizzled with honey mustard dressing, which was particularly nice and very quick and easy.

Honey Mustard Dressing

Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Now honey and walnuts – some more delicious things that are available around Murchison.

Eat local and well!


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