A member of the Cabbage family, it displays a spicy aroma and a refreshing, peppery-pungent taste lasting only a few seconds. Similar to many other members of the cabbage family, it owes their aroma to isothiocyanates. The isothiocyanates are formed from inactive precursors called glucosinolates as a reaction to injuries. Common cress contains gluconasturtiin, which yields the 2-phenylethyl isothiocyanates (C6H5-CH2-CH2-NCS). Seeds contain volatile essential aromatic oil, the active principle and fatty oil.
Aserio seeds are used as decoction, infusion, powder or paste. Seeds are useful in hiccup, dysentery, diarrhea and skin diseases caused by impurity of blood. Seeds are recommended for the dispersion of certain chronic enlargement of spleen. A preparation of seeds, ghee and sugar is a common household remedy useful as a restorative in general debility. Still another invigorating and nutritutious diet is prepared by mixing sufficient quantity of seeds, flowers of tender coconut and Jaggery and heating them in fore till they melt, mix together and forma a molten mass, which is then left to cool and made into small balls and kept for use. Common cress is “Nature’s remedy for Scurvy”. Externally a paste made of seeds rubbed in water is applied to skin diseases caused by impurity in blood).