Another momentous milestone captured in the tragic life of a balcony gardener...... my first nasturtium bud appeared today.
I'm growing nasturtiums for many reasons.
Firstly they're edible. Not just the flowers, but the leaves, flower buds and the seeds as well. When the plants have thickened up and started to spread, start picking the leaves and flowers.The flowerbuds can be pickled like capers and the leaves have a pungent peppery flavour that can enhance many salads and dishes. Mature seeds, when dried, can be ground and used as a pepper substitute for seasoning. Add the flowers to dips, pesto, spreads and cream cheese for added flavour and visual appeal.
Secondly, quite a bit of scientific research has shown that the plant has a natural antibiotic action that is fast-working in the body. Apparently the antibiotic agent, tromalyt, has been found in the urine within one hour of digesting the herb. Noteworthy, too, is that this antibiotic does not interfere with your intestinal flora, and it has been found to be effective against some microorganisms that have built up resistance to common antibiotic drugs. I like to chew on a few leaves each day while I'm watering the garden. Nasturtiums are high in vitamin C, iron and other minerals, and also have powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant qualities.