Garden Pepper Cress (Aliv Seed): Lepidium sativum Uses, Side Effects, Research

Garden cress – Chandrashura or aliv seeds are useful in  bloating, irregular periods, oestrogen deficiency etc. It is  for cooking as well.  It is also called Aliv Seed.
Botanical name- Lepidium Sativum Linn

Home Remedies

Ayurveda explains that the seeds are light, unctuous and slippery in nature. It undergoes pungent bio transformation (Katu vipaka) and possesses hot potency (Ushna veerya). Due to the above said qualities it acts as Kapha vata shamaka.
Its vatahara action can be appreciated externally as well as internally.
Bhavaprakasha refers its main indications especially in the disorders like hiccup, diarrhoea, gout etc. Another text Shodhala nighantu appreciates its potent action like Carminative, digestive, appetizing, diuretic, galactogogue, emmenogogue etc.
Read related: Garden Cress: Lepidium sativum Uses, Side Effects, Research

Home remedies

By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.

Lepidium sativum
Lepidium sativum


Application of fine paste of Chandrashoora and cumin seeds in gout:
Lepidium sativum and cumin seeds are taken and fine powder is made. By adding water or lemon juice fine paste is made. This is applied over the joints to relieve swelling and pain.

Hiccup, gastritis

Hot infusion of the seed in hiccup and gastritis:
One teaspoon of seed powder or seeds as such is taken and soaked in 1 cup of hot water, for a while. This is filtered and taken when it gets cold. This is effective in hiccup, bloating, gastritis.

Poor digestion, nausea

Fine powder of Garden Cress with jaggery or ghee in poor digestion and nausea:
Chandrashoora seeds are made into fine powder and taken along with jaggery or ghee or both. This helps to improve the appetite, reduce the burping or bloating and nausea.

To improve lactation

Medicated milk of Chandrashoora to improve lactation and to strengthen the mother:
One tablespoon of seed powder is cooked with one cup of milk. To this little ghee or sugar is added and taken once daily, preferably during night, before food. This helps to strengthen the body and to improve/increase the breast milk both qualitative and quantitatively.
Read related: Human Breast Milk Benefits, Ways To Increase Production

Leucorrhoea, back ache

Seed paste prepared by soaking the seeds with jaggery water for leucorrhoea and in back ache:
Seeds are soaked with jaggery water and fine paste is made. This is taken during the evening hours – 1 teaspoon. This helps to reduce the back ache, leucorrhoea, pre-menstrual headache etc.

Recent studies have shown that the seeds are effective to improve the height of the children and to boost the physical growth during puberty of both the genders. In few of the countries people use its leaves in the treatment of scurvy as well as gingivitis.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD

Garden cress Lepidium sativum L seeds sprouting
Garden cress Lepidium sativum L seeds sprouting

Classical categorisation

Bhavaprakasha – Hareetakyadi Varga, Chaturbeeja

Chemical constituents

Lepidium sativum chemical constituents:
Calcium, Iron, Folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C.
Proteins – Amino acids – Glutamic acid, leucine, methionine.
Fatty acid – linolinic acid, erucic aci (Reference)
7 imidazole alkaloids – Lecidine B,C, D,E,F and 2 monomeric alkaloids Semilipedene Side A and Side B were found in Garden cress seeds.
(Reference: Nayak PS, Upadhyaya SD and Upadhyaya A, A HPTLC densitometer determination of sinapic acid in Chandrashur (Lepidium sativum), J Sci Res, 2009, 1(1) 121-127)

Medicinal qualities

Garden cress medicinal qualities:
Guna (qualities) 

whole plant – Laghu (lightness), Rooksha (dryness) Teekshna (strong, piercing)
Seed – Snigdha – unctuous, oily, Picchila – Sticky
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent)
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya- Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Vata

Part used, dosage

Part used– Seeds
Dosage– Powder 1-3 g

How to use?
Garden cress seed powder along with Oma, fenugreek and kaloni – together is called as Chaturbeeja churna – used in gastritis, bloating and gas trouble.
3 grams of seed is boiled in half a cup of milk and administered to relieve bloating and Vata imbalance disorders.
For diarrhoea and dysentery, 2 grams is administered along with buttermilk, twice a day, before food.


Annual herbaceous plant
Leaf- Entire, lobbed, lower leaves are petiolate upper leaves are sessile
Inflorescence – Raceme
Flower – White and small
Fruit – Small pods

Sanskrit verse

Garden cress seed benefits

Garden cress is-
Balavardhana – improves strength and immunity
Pushtivardhana – nourishing, rich in nutrition
It is indicated in:
Hikka – hiccups
Vataroga – Vataja disorders such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc
Kaphaja Atisara – diarrhoea, dysentery due to Kapha vitiation.
Asruk Vata – Vatarakta – Gout
Seeds contain phytochemicals that resemble oestrogen action.
Hence it is used in treating amenorrhoea and irregular menstrual cycles.
It is used in lactating mothers to improve breast milk production.
It improves semen and sperm quality and quantity

External application of seed paste relieves pain, worm infestation in wounds, varicose veins, Avascular necrosis and is useful in skin disorders associated with itching.

Research, side effects

Chemical characterisation –
Pharmacognosy study –

Lepidium sativum Side effects:
Because of its hot potency, people with Pitta body type should use it with care. They can tolerate it, when used after boiling in milk.
It is best to avoid it during pregnancy. Can be administered in children and lactating mothers, in low doses. 

Garden cress

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines with Lepidium sativum ingredient:
Dhanwanthararishtam – 
used in Ayurvedic post natal care of the mother
Vat Vidhwans Ras – used in the treatment of neuritis, colic pain and such other Vata imbalance conditions.
Chaturbeeja Churna – used in bloating, gaseous distention of abdomen
Kasturyadi gulika

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
English name- Garden Cress, Garden pepper cress, Aliv Seeds.
Hindi name- Chandrashoor, Chandrasur, Chansur, Halim, Asalia, Halam
Kannada name – Alavi beeja,
Bengali name- Halim Shak
Gujarati name – Asheliyo
Telugu name- Adityalu, Adeli
Tamil name- Alivirai
Punjabi name – Halium
Farsi name – Sipandan
Arabian name – Habburshad
Oriya name – Hidamba Saga
Spanish name – lepido, Mastuerzo
French name – Cresson de fontaine

Sanskrit synonyms

Aliv seeds – Sanskrit Synonyms:
Chandrika, Charmahantri, Pashu Mehana Karika, Nandini, Karavi, Bhadra,
Suvasara, Vasapushpa – flowers resemble to Vasa – Adhatoda vasica
Raktabija -Seeds are brownish red in colour

Variants of garden cress

Cress, garden, raw

Taste – pungent, sour
Properties – heavy (nutrient dense food)
Potency – hot
After digestion taste transformation ( Vipaka ) – pungent
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing (useful in osteoporosis)
Pitta increasing
Kapha balancing (lowers risk of cancers)

Cress, garden, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt

Taste – pungent, sour
Properties – not very heavy (as it is cooked and drained)
Potency – hot
After digestion taste transformation ( Vipaka ) – pungent
Effect on Doshas
Vata neutral (due to reduced heaviness)
Pitta increasing
Kapha balancing (more Kapha balancing due to increased lightness)

Cress, garden, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt

Taste – pungent, sour, slightly salty
Properties – not very heavy (as it is cooked and drained)
Potency – hot
After digestion taste transformation ( Vipaka ) – pungent
Effect on Doshas
Vata neutral (due to reduced heaviness)
Pitta increasing (salt also increases Pitta)
Kapha balancing (more Kapha balancing due to increased lightness)

21 thoughts on “Garden Pepper Cress (Aliv Seed): Lepidium sativum Uses, Side Effects, Research”

  1. Dear Sir

    Thanks for this info… I was searching for this Garden Cress seed

    I use small spoon Garden Cress by soaking in water at morning and eat at evening before or after dinner with lime drops…. (no any reverse effects)

    is it Ok…


  2. Hi

    I have hypothyroidism and transferrin saturation is 10%. How should I consume garden cress seeds or whether I should if at all? TIA

  3. Hi

    I have sub clinical hypothyroidism and transferrin saturation is 10%.

    How should I consume garden cress seeds and if I should at all? TIA

    • It is not directly indicated in weight loss treatment. There are no side effects if it is not taken regularly.


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