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

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

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 to its main indications especially in the disorders like hiccup, diarrhea, gout etc. Another text Shodhala nighantu appreciates its potent action like Carminative, digestive, appetizing, diuretic, galactagogue, emmenagogue 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 hiccups, 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 a fine paste is made. This is taken during the evening hours – 1 teaspoon. This helps to reduce the back ache, leucorrhoea, premenstrual 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 – linolenic 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 it?
Garden cress seed powder along with Oma, fenugreek and kaloni – together is called 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 diarrhea 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 – diarrhea, dysentery due to Kapha vitiation.
Asruk Vata – Vatarakta – Gout
Seeds contain phytochemicals that resemble estrogen 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 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 color

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)

Systemic Action (Sthanika Karma)

External – Analgesic, Antimicrobial in nature. External application of its paste is indicated in Back ache, Pain in the flanks, Joint pain, Skin disorders etc.

Nervous system – Its powder and Ksheerapaka preparations are indicated in vataja rogas.

Digestive System – Carminative, Absorbent, Facilitate movement vata dosha in proper direction, Indicated in Colic pain, . Helminthiasis, Abdominal distension, indigestion, Diarrhea etc.

Circulatory System – Indicated in vata rakta (Gouty arthritis etc.)

Respiratory System – Expels out vitiated kapha dosha. Indicated in hiccough.
Excretory System – Indicated in Dysuria. Stimulates urine production.
Reproductive system – Indicated in Amenorrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Postpartum care etc. Increases breast milk production. Aphrodisiac, Uterine stimulant. Seed oil Contains good amount of Phytoestrogen.
Satmikarana – Indicated in general body weakness. 

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

  • Raje

    26/03/2015 - 6:59 pm

    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…


    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      26/03/2015 - 7:05 pm

      Hi, it looks fine.

      Reply to comment
  • Hina shaikh

    18/08/2016 - 2:57 pm

    Is it good in hypothyroidism

    Reply to comment

    18/10/2016 - 9:50 pm

    patient with CABG And Redo AVR low HB can have this??

    Reply to comment
  • Dave

    23/10/2016 - 11:01 pm

    Is it good for Crohn’s disease?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      24/10/2016 - 5:08 pm

      Its seeds are useful in Crohn’s disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

      Reply to comment
  • Geeta Parihar

    11/01/2017 - 11:07 am

    My daughter has irregular periods. How will this help here and and how to use it

    Reply to comment
  • Jignesh patel

    13/02/2017 - 4:28 pm

    Is gardencress seed 4 spoon daily in boiled milk good for spream count or it has side effect

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      07/03/2017 - 12:24 pm

      2 spoons, boiled in water is better than milk.

      Reply to comment
  • SriBa

    23/02/2017 - 11:18 pm


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

    Reply to comment
  • SriBa

    23/02/2017 - 11:19 pm


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

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

    Reply to comment
  • Archu

    22/03/2017 - 2:54 pm

    Is this usefull for PCOS in lady please advise.

    Reply to comment
  • Missy

    23/03/2017 - 5:13 am

    Is this seed good for herniated disk ?

    Reply to comment
  • Dr.Majid Gilani

    13/04/2017 - 1:05 pm

    How can we use it for Low HB and Asthama

    Reply to comment
  • Dr.Majid Gilani

    13/04/2017 - 1:06 pm

    Does it cures Uterine Fibroid

    Reply to comment
  • Vidya

    20/06/2017 - 9:36 am

    Please let me know the dosage per day for a lactating mother. I have pitta body type.

    Reply to comment
  • nitin

    18/07/2017 - 11:51 am

    Sir i have severe acidity problem, i even have Hiatus hernia. is chia seeds will be useful for this

    Reply to comment
  • Jagruti Parikh

    30/07/2017 - 5:33 am

    How do I consume it

    Reply to comment
  • Sony

    05/10/2017 - 12:32 am

    garden cress seeds can help in weight loss?
    If it is not taken regularly, there are side effectcts

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      15/10/2017 - 1:19 pm

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

      Reply to comment

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