Lady's smock, a harbinger of spring with its soft purple flowers, has been used traditionally to make a revitalizing springtime tonic. Also known as "meadow cress" and "cuckoo flower", the herb is rich in minerals and vitamin C and works its medicinal effects whether eaten in salads, prepared as a juice or tea or applied topically.
Plant Facts :
Lady's-smock belongs to the Cruciferae, or mustard family. This medicinal plant grows in a height of 8-12 inches. The young leaves in particular have the spicy scent of watercress, which is from the same family.
Lady's smock is widespread in all grassy regions of Europe. The plant grows best in damp locations along streams and at th edges of forests. It is also found in dry meadows gardens, ditches and cultivated fields.
Parts Used :
In general, the young leaves, the shoots and all the flowering, above ground parts are used.
The medically active components contained in lady's smock include bitters and minerals, such as potassium, iron and magnesium, in addition to high levels of vitamin C. also noteworthy are its mustard oil compounds, which stimulate blood flow to the outer layer of skin.
Because of its high minerals content, lady's smock has a strengthening and invigorating effect and is often recommended in natural medicine. Its mustard oil compounds prompt the liver and kidneys to increase activity. In traditional medicine, the dried plant has been used to prepare a soothing and antispasmodic tea for relieving both stubborn coughs and abdominal cramps. A valuable herb for women, it is often used for menstrual disorders, especially to treat heavy periods. Lady's smock may also be applied topically to promote blood flow to the skin's surface, which can soothe the pain of arthritis and rheumatism and aid in the healing of skin irritations and eruptions.
Extra Tip : Gather lady's smock at th start of the blooming season. Use the fresh leaves in a salad or for juice extraction. To dry the herb, tie the plants in a bundle and hang them in a shady location.
Strengthens and invigorates; relieves rheumatism
Methods of Administration
Tea infusion :
Pour 1 cup of hot water over 2 tsp. of dried lady's smock leaves. Steep for 10 min.; strain. Drink 1-2 warm cups a day.
Because of the herb's mustard oil content, your urine may smell slightly of sulphur.
Pressed juice :
Crush the frsh plant and place it in a cloth. Squeeze hard to extract the juice. Take 4-5 tbsp. of the juice daily.
Grind the dried leaves into a fine powder. Mix 1 tsp. with water; take daily.
Pour ½ cup of hot water over 2 healping tsp. of chopped lady's smock leaves. Steep for 10 min.; strain. Soak a cotton cloth in the infusion, and apply to areas of rheumatic pain.
Spring time salad :
Prepare a salad of fresh lady's smock leaves, dandelion greens and watercress. Use lemon juice as a dressing. Eat 1 salad daily.