Health benefits of Wild Rocket

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Wild Rocket Quick Facts
Name: Wild Rocket
Scientific Name: Diplotaxis tenuifolia
Origin Europe and Western Asia
Colors Green when young turning to light brown as they mature
Shapes Erect, narrow rod-shaped siliqua about 20-60 mm long and 1- 2.5 mm across which are slightly bulging with the seeds inside
Taste Small leaves have a sweet but nutty, mild taste, while older ones have spicy, slightly bitter and peppery
Health benefits Relieve constipation, Prevent cancer, Prevent diabetes, Cleansing colon, Promotes healthy digestion, Prevent atherosclerosis, Reduce cholesterol, Protect kidney, Maintain healthy skin, Fight inflammation, Help to lose weight, Reduce the risk of heart disease, Prevent obesity, Prevent osteoporosis, Increase fluid intake, Promotes healthy pregnancy, Prevent anemia, Alleviate stress and Relaxing muscle, Boost immune system, Maintain healthy vision, Maintain metabolism rate, Prevent scurvy, Prevent Alzheimer, Promotes sexual desire, Prevent ulcer, Promotes healthy hair, Protect liver
Diplotaxis tenuifolia commonly known as Wild rocket is a species of flowering plant in the mustard family Brassicaceae / Cruciferae known by the common names perennial wall-rocket and Sand mustard. This plant is native to Europe and Western Asia. It can be found throughout much of the temperate world where it has naturalized. Some of the popular common names of the plant include Lincoln weed, Narrow-leaved wall-mustard, Perennial wall-rocket, Sand mustard, Sand rocket, Slim leaf wild rocket, Slim-leaved wall rocket, Wild arugula, Wild rocket, Yellow-flowered perennial wild rocket, white rocket, wild Italian arugula and sylvetta arugula.

Wild rocket seeds are available commercially. Wild rocket is a food plant for beetles, flies, the cabbage white butterfly and micro-moths. The species was described in 1755 by Carl Linnaeus as Sisymbrium tenuifolium and as Diplotaxis tenuifolia by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1821. Wild rocket has been used as a culinary herb since Roman times. It had a reputation as an aphrodisiac. It has spread widely from its native area as it easily colonizes bare earth (including dry, poor soils) and was also carried in sand used as ballast in ships.

Wild Rocket Facts

Name Wild Rocket
Scientific Name Diplotaxis tenuifolia
Native Europe and Western Asia. It can be found throughout much of the temperate world where it has naturalized
Common Names Lincoln weed, Narrow-leaved wall-mustard, Perennial wall-rocket, Sand mustard, Sand rocket, Slim leaf wild rocket, Slim-leaved wall rocket, Wild arugula, Wild rocket, Yellow-flowered perennial wild rocket, white rocket, wild Italian arugula, sylvetta arugula
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Muur vuurpyl
Albanian: Raketa murale, diplotaks, diplotaksa gyethehollë
Amharic: Yegidigida rokēti (የግድግዳ ሮኬት)
Arabic: Sarukh aljidar (صاروخ الجدار), Gargir barri, khafaj raqiq al’awraq  (خفج رقيق الأوراق)
Armenian: Pati hrt’irr (պատի հրթիռ)
Azerbaijani: Divar raketi
Basque: Basa errukula
Bengali: Prācīra rakēṭa (প্রাচীর রকেট)
Bulgarian: Stenna raketa (стенна ракета), tesnolisten diplotaksis (теснолистен диплотаксис), tŭnkolistna dvuredka (тънколистна двуредка)
Burmese: Nanranko donepyaan (နံရံကိုဒုံးပျံ)
Catalan: Ravenissa tenuïfólia, Crèspol
Chinese: Qiáng shì huǒjiàn (墙式火箭), Xi ye er hang jie
Croatian: Zidna raketa, uskolisni dvoredac, Dvoredac
Czech: Raketa na zeď, křez tenkolistý
Danish: Vægraket, Sandsennep
Dutch: Muur raket, Almindelig valnød, Figen, Sandsennep, Søblad, Zandkool , grote zandkool
English: Wall rocket, Chilpanunda-weed, Lincoln’s-weed, Perennial Wall-rocket, Flixweed, Perennial rocket, Sand mustard, Sand rocket, Slim-leaf wall rocket, Greater wall mustard, Slender-leaved wall rocket, Slim-leaved wall rocket, Perennial Wild Arugula
Esperanto: Muro raketo
Estonian: Seinarakett, Võõr-liivsinep
Filipino: Rocket ng pader
Finnish: Seinäraketti, Isohietasinappi , Kapealiuskainen hietasinappi
French: Fusée murale, Roquette à feuilles ténues, Roquette jaune, Herbe puante, diplotaxe vulgaire, diplotaxis à feuilles ténues, roquette fine, narrow-leaved wall-rocket
Georgian: K’edlis rak’et’a (კედლის რაკეტა)
German: Wandrakete, Feinblättriger Doppelsame, Schmalblättriger Doppelsame, Stinkrauke
Greek: Pýravlos toíchou (πύραυλος τοίχου), diplótaxis stenófyllos (διπλόταξις στενόφυλλος)
Gujarati: Divāla rōkēṭa (દિવાળી રોકેટ)
Hausa: Roka bango
Hebrew: Turayim tzarei-‘alim, טוּרַיִם צָרֵי-עָלִים
Hindi: Deevaar ka roket (दीवार का रॉकेट)
Hungarian: Fali rakéta, szabdalt kányazsázsa, évelő kányazsázsa
Icelandic: Veggflaug
Indonesian: Roket dinding
Irish: Roicéad balla
Italian: Razzo a muro, Perennial wild mustard, Rucola, Rucola mata, Ruchetta selvatica, Rucola mata, Rucola selvatica , sarterelli, Ruchetta Selvatica, Rucoletta
Japanese: Kabe roketto (壁ロケット), Robougarashi (ロボウガラシ)
Javanese: Roket tembok
Kannada: Vāl rākeṭ (ವಾಲ್ ರಾಕೆಟ್)
Kazakh: Qabırğağa arnalğan raketa (қабырғаға арналған ракета)
Korean: Byeog lokes (벽 로켓)
Kurdish: Topavêj dîwar
Lao: Koaaephng hin bangfai (ກໍາແພງຫີນບັ້ງໄຟ)
Latin: Praecipueque eruca murum
Latvian: Sienas raķete, Šaurlapu divsēkle
Lithuanian: Sieninė raketa, siauralapis šatreinis 
Macedonian: Wallidna raketa (wallидна ракета)
Malagasy: Rindrina balafomanga
Malay: Roket dinding
Malayalam: Matil ṟēākkaṟṟ (മതിൽ റോക്കറ്റ്)
Maltese: Rokit mal-ħajt, ġarġir isfar        
Marathi: Bhinta rŏkēṭa (भिंत रॉकेट)
Mongolian: Khanyn puujin (ханын пуужин)
Nepali: Bhittē rakēṭa (भित्ते रकेट)
Norwegian: Veggrakett, Steinsennep
Oriya: କାନ୍ଥ ରକେଟ୍ |
Pashto: دیوال راکټ
Persian: موشک دیواری
Polish: Rakieta ścienna, Dwurząd wąskolitny
Portuguese: Foguete de parede, oruga-brava
Punjabi: Kadha rākēṭa (ਕੰਧ ਰਾਕੇਟ)
Romanian: Rachetă de perete, puturoasă, puturoasă tenuifolie
Russian: Nastennaya raketa (настенная ракета), dvuryadka tonkolistnaya (двурядка тонколистная), dvuryadnik tonkolistnyĭ (двурядник тонколистный)
Serbian: Zidna raketa (зидна ракета), divlja salata (дивља салата), Dvoredac (Дворедац)
Sindhi: ڀت جو راڪيٽ
Sinhala: Bitti rokaṭṭuva (බිත්ති රොකට්ටුව)
Slovak: Dvojradovka tenkolistá, dvojsemä tenkolisté     
Slovenian: Stenska raketa, tankolistni dvoredec               
Spanish: Cohete de pared, Jaramago Silvestre, flor amarilla, nabillo, nabo amarilla           
Sudanese: Rokét rokét
Swedish: Vägg raket, Fikon, Sandsenap
Tajik: Devori sangī (девори сангӣ)
Tamil: Cuvar rākkeṭ (சுவர் ராக்கெட்)
Telugu: Gōḍa rākeṭ (గోడ రాకెట్)
Thai: Crwd tid p̄hnạng (จรวดติดผนัง)
Turkish: Duvar roketi, türpenk
Ukrainian: -nastinna raketa (настінна ракета), dvoryadnik tonkolistiĭ (дворядник тонколистий)
Upper Sorbian: Banćikaty wonječk
Urdu: دیوار راکٹ
Uzbek: Devor raketasi
Vietnamese: Tên lửa tường
Welsh: Roced wal, Cedu’r Tywod, Cedw y Tywod, Chwyn Drewllyd y Tywod, Mwstard y Tywod, Roced-y-Muriau Meinddail
Zulu: Rocket odongeni
Plant Growth Habit Perennial, erect, glabrous (without hairs) yellow flowered herb
Growing Climates Old walls, waste places, roadsides, stream banks and railway line
Soil Grows on a wide range of soil types, from heavier textured clay soils through to coastal sand. It is, however, most often encountered on well drained sandy soils with high calcium content
Plant Size 200–800 mm tall
Root Long tap root that allows the plant to utilise water from deep underground
Stem Woody at its base, glabrous, forms branches with a dense numbers of leaves and with apical raceme inflorescences.  Stem and leaves are glaucous (blue-green in color with a whitish bloom)
Leaf Rosette leaves are only produced when the plant is a seedlings, being absent at all other times. The lower leaves are petiolate (with a leaf stalk), to 170 mm long, decreasing in size up the stem. The stem leaves are variable in shape and size
Flowering season May to September
Flower Flower stalk, consist of four, yellow to pale yellow petals and are 8–15 mm long. Petals of sand rocket are similar to other weeds in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family
Fruit Shape & Size Erect, narrow rod-shaped siliqua about 20-60 mm long and 1- 2.5 mm across which are slightly bulging with the seeds inside
Fruit Color Green when young turning to light brown as they mature
Seed Numerous small spherical to ovoid shaped seeds, 1–1.5 mm long, are normally in two rows (side by side), and are yellow-brown in color when ripe
Taste Small leaves have a sweet but nutty, mild taste, while older ones have spicy, slightly bitter and peppery
Plant Parts Used Leaves
Season June to October
Health Benefits
  • Relieve constipation
  • Prevent cancer
  • Prevent diabetes
  • Cleansing colon
  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Prevent atherosclerosis
  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Protect kidney
  • Maintain healthy skin
  • Fight inflammation
  • Help to lose weight
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Prevent obesity
  • Prevent osteoporosis
  • Increase fluid intake
  • Promotes healthy pregnancy
  • Prevent anemia
  • Alleviate stress and Relaxing muscle
  • Boost immune system
  • Maintain healthy vision
  • Maintain metabolism rate
  • Prevent scurvy
  • Prevent Alzheimer
  • Promotes sexual desire
  • Prevent ulcer
  • Promotes healthy hair
  • Protect liver
Traditional uses
  • Wild rocket aids digestion, cleanses the blood and is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium.
  • Young leaves are said to be a good tonic and are used in cough medicine and are also described as a good digestive aids.

Plant Description

Wild rocket is a perennial, erect, glabrous (without hairs) yellow flowered herb that normally grows about 200–800 mm tall. The plant is found growing in old walls, waste places, roadsides, stream banks and railway line. It grows on a wide range of soil types, from heavier textured clay soils through to coastal sand. It is, however, most often encountered on well drained sandy soils with high calcium content. The plant has long tap root that allows the plant to utilize water from deep underground. Stem is woody at its base, glabrous, forms branches with a dense numbers of leaves and with apical raceme inflorescences. Stem and leaves are glaucous (blue-green in color with a whitish bloom).

Leaves

Rosette leaves are only produced when the plant is a seedling, being absent at all other times. The lower leaves are petiolate (with a leaf stalk), about 170 mm long, decreasing in size up the stem. The stem leaves are variable in shape and size, ranging from being pinnate, deeply lobed to coarsely toothed or entire.  Leaves have a strong (some say unpleasant) mustard smell when fresh and broken/crushed.

Flower

Flowers are sulphur yellow, normally 15-18 mm across and are attached to the stem by a relatively long peduncle (2 – 3 times the length of the flower). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. Flowers are made up of 4 sepals, 4 petals that are arranged diagonally forming the shape of a cross, 6 tetradynamous stamens, that is 4 central and long, 2 adjacent and shorter, and a central green pistil with an inflated pale green style. Flowering normally takes place in between May to September.

Fruit

Fruit are in the form of erect, narrow rod-shaped siliqua about 20-60 mm long and 1- 2.5 mm across which are slightly bulging with the seeds inside. The fruit pods have a short apical beak and are separated from the stalks by a distinct constriction. The fruit walls split open with a sudden twist and hence spread the seeds to a further distance away leaving a central translucent partition (called replum) along the length of the siliqua. Seeds are arranged in paired rows and attached at each side of the replum by tiny stalks called funiculi. There can be up to 60 seeds per fruit. They are spherical to ovoid in shape and brown to light brown in color.

Health benefits of Wild Rocket

Wild rocket consists of a wide range of health-promoting properties such as phytochemicals including Vitamin C, carotenoids, dietary fiber, magnesium, calcium, potassium, Vitamin K, polyphenols and glucosinolates. This compound has strong protective agents to our body and can help to prevent from several serious diseases. Due to their nutritional contents, it is quite beneficial to human body. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of wild rocket

1. Relieve constipation

Constipation used to be happen when people consume less fiber. Wild rockets consist of high amounts of fiber that can help the bowel movement inside the colon and ease the stool to pass it. If you experience constipation during your day, including wild rocket in your meal can be helpful to relieve it.

2. Prevent cancer

Wild rocket possess high antioxidant that can prevent the body from developing cancer. Research reported that wild rocket not only consists of high amount of antioxidant but also contains a substance called sulforaphene which has the capability to delay the growth of cancer cells and prevent the Histone deacetylase enzime which known as cancer promoters.

Wild rocket also consists of chlorophyll which can block the carcinogenic substance that comes from heterocyclic amines. Taking wild rocket with grilled steak or other grilled food may prevent the body from heterocyclic amines and other carcinogenic effects.

3. Prevent diabetes

Wild rocket consists of good amount of alpha lipoic acids that is categorized as antioxidant. Research reported that alpha lipoic acid in wild rocket can lower the blood sugar level and increase insulin sensitivity. This makes wild rocket great vegetable to be consumed by diabetes patient and those who want to prevent from building diabetes.

4. Cleansing colon

Wild rocket leaves is a natural colon cleansing agent that can help to clean the colon from harmful toxin and flush it away from the body. As we know that colon is a place where stool and digestion waste is formed, colon may get dirty and contains numerous toxins that can be harmful. Not only cleanse the colon, wild rocket also can promote the good bacteria growth inside the colon.

5. Promotes healthy digestion

Wild rocket consists of high dietary fiber which can help to improve digestion health. The fiber contents of wild rocket can considerably increase bowel movement and help in nutrients absorption.

6. Prevent atherosclerosis

By reducing the level of cholesterol, wild rocket can be effective in preventing atherosclerosis since we know that the main thing that cause atherosclerosis is the cholesterol or bad fat. The cholesterol which enters the body will gather and accumulated in the wall of arteries and this may higher the chance of building cardiovascular (CVD) disease.

7. Reduce cholesterol

Fiber in wild rocket helps to increase the amount of good fat or known as High density lipoprotein (HDL) and decreased the amount of bad fat or Low Density Lipoprotein that can cause many health problems within the body.

8. Protect kidney

Wild rocket consist of high antioxidant which can help to protect the kidney from several harmful substance such as mercuric chloride and it has been proven by several studies which conducted by researchers from Saudi Arabia.

9. Maintain healthy skin

High antioxidant contents and vitamin C in wild rocket can keep your skin nourished and healthy. Wild rocket helps to maintain healthy blood circulation and make sure that the skin tissue gets sufficient nutrients and oxygen. Vitamin C in wild rocket also promotes collagen production that can keep the skin tissue firm and young.

10. Fight inflammation

Wild rocket consists of high antioxidant and they can also act as anti-inflammatory properties such as indole-3-carbinol and isothiocyanates inside the body. Antioxidant content of wild rocket helps to reduce the inflammation in the body which caused by microorganism infection or harmful substance which enter the body.

11. Help to lose weight

Wild rocket is very low in calories and they can help to make you full and satisfy by just eating it. It will prevent you from hunger and make your stomach full in longer time. Fiber in wild rocket also can block the fat to enter the body. These will be a great reason why you should put wild rocket into your diet.

12. Reduce the risk of heart disease

Wild rocket helps to reduce cholesterol, protect the blood vessels and also consists of potassium which maintains healthy heart beat. These effects may give benefits in reducing the risk of heart disease particularly among elderly.

13. Prevent obesity

Scientific research has reported that after several experiment, he found that wild rocket leaves extract can reduce the risk of obesity and treat obesity by increasing urinary and nutrient intake.

14. Prevent osteoporosis

Calcium within wild rocket help to maintain bone mineral density and it may prevent the bones from losing their mass particularly in older age or known as osteoporosis. The bones which lost their mineral will be easily fractured and it can be a serious problem to elderly.

15. Increase fluid intake

Wild rocket consists of good amount of water and it can increase your fluid intake in the body particularly during the hot day. This type of vegetable can calm your stomach and make you feel rehydrate after doing any activity.

16. Promotes healthy pregnancy

Wild rocket is completely safe to be consumed during pregnancy. Wild rocket leaves contain foliate and other beneficial nutrients that can really help in developing the fetus and prevent the baby from neural tube defect or other birth disorder. Fiber in wild rocket will also make the mother feel comfort and relax during pregnancy.

17. Prevent anemia

Wild rocket consists of sufficient amount of iron, a mineral which is vital in developing new red blood cells. Lack of iron causes anemia and it can reduce productivity of a person. Anemia is a disorder which the bodies don’t get enough oxygen and nutrient transport since the body lack of red blood cells.

18. Alleviate stress and Relaxing muscle

Wild rocket consists of good amount of magnesium that can relax the muscle and soothe nerve. Consuming wild rocket on dinner not only will make you stay healthy but also can ease your stress and relaxing muscle after a hard day at work.

19. Boost immune system

High antioxidant contents in wild rocket leaves may promotes better and efficient immune function. Antioxidant can strengthen the immune cells and prevent the body from free radical damage as well as certain infection of microorganism that can cause disease.

20. Maintain healthy vision

Wild rocket consists of Vitamin A and even it’s not in high amount; still it can keep the healthy eyes and vision. Vitamin A in wild rocket can considerably protect the eyes from building eyes disorder such as cataract and age macular degeneration.

21. Maintain metabolism rate

Vitamin B complex contents in wild rocket play important role in the body metabolism process. They are the co-factor of several enzymes in the body which work to produce energy that required by every cell in the body.

22. Prevent scurvy

Vitamin C contained in Wild rocket can keep oral health and prevent from developing scurvy. Antioxidant in wild rocket can also protect the mouth from bacterial infection which leads to several oral problems.

23. Prevent Alzheimer

It is well known that wild rocket consists of high level of antioxidant that can help to protect the brain from damage especially caused by free radicals damage. Consuming wild rocket regularly can maintain stable brain function and prevent from Alzheimer that usually occur in elderly age.

24. Promotes sexual desire

Since Roman times, wild rocket has been popular as aphrodisiac. It is believed that both wild and cultivated rocket can encourages sexual desire and increase sperm count in male. They can also get rid of frigidity in women.

25. Prevent ulcer

Research published in World journal of gastroenterology reported that wild rocket just like the cultivated one has anti-ulcer properties that can protect the stomach and prevent it from gastric ulcer.

26. Promotes healthy hair

People who consume wild rocket or arugula juice can prevent hair loss caused by viral infection since it consists of anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to prevent hair thinning and encourages healthy hair growth.

27. Protect liver

Wild rocket contains antioxidant and also chlorophyll which is popular as natural body cleanser. Those substances can help the body to purify the blood from toxin and other substance so it eases the liver function and work. Antioxidant in wild rocket also can protect the liver from damage that caused by free radicals.

Culinary Uses

  • Leaves can be consumed raw and used in salads, they are very strongly flavored of cress.
  • Leaves have a hot flavor, very similar to rocket but more strongly flavored – they make an excellent addition to a mixed salad but are too strong to be used in quantity on their own.
  • Wild Rocket is an ideal replacement for normal Salad Rocket and is used extensively in French and Italian cuisine.
  • It may be used with other greens, nuts or fruit and topped with dressings, included in stir fry dishes or steamed lightly with other vegetables.
  • Flowers are also edible and can be added to similar dishes.
  • Older leaves can be quite bitter and hot in taste, so these are best reserved for cooked dishes.
  • Young leaves are very popular in salads as they have mildest flavor.
  • They can also be lightly boiled or steamed and added to numerous other dishes.
  • Flowers of wild rocket are also edible and added to salads.

Tips to Consume Wild Rocket

Before you include the wild rocket in your diet better watch these tips:

  • Purchase fresh wild rocket in the market and choose the bright dark green color of wild rocket leaves
  • Wash the leaves before you consume it to remove dirt and other substance which stick into the leaves
  • Store wild rocket in the fridge by wrapping it tight with plastic and they can only be stored for 4-5 days
  • You can consume wild rocket in salad or add it to your omelet or scramble while having breakfast
  • Wild rocket can also be stirred fry, sauté, or boiled. It depend on your favorite way to enjoy the vegetable

Best practice management

Wild rocket can spread by both seed and root fragments. Ensuring thorough cleaning of cultivation, harvesting and road maintenance equipment that has been working in infested areas will help prevent its spread. Hay and crop seeds may also contain seed of Wild rocket if they have been sourced from infested paddocks. Sites where feed is laid out should be monitored for the emergence of new weeds. New weeds should be removed before they become established.

Chemical control

Herbicides can be used successfully in controlling Wild rocket. However the biology of the species coupled with the complexities of modern cropping and weed management require careful and well researched decisions to be made to maximize effectiveness and to limit off target impacts. Populations of Wild rocket resistant to Group B/2 herbicides have been discovered in cereal crops in South Australia. Blade ploughing, or spraying with relatively inexpensive herbicides used for general broadleaf weed control can kill or dramatically reduce established Lincoln weed in arable areas. Lincoln weed is difficult to control in established lucerne as selective herbicide treatments are not available.

Non-chemical control

Individual plants can be successfully hand pulled or hoed, but care should be taken to ensure the majority of the tap root is removed, as re-sprouting can occur. Deep ploughing is an effective means of control especially if followed up by further cultivation to return seedlings and regrowth to the soil.

Precautions

  • Wild rocket must be stored properly by wrapping in inside the fridge because it can easily damage and infected by bacteria that produce nitrate.
  • Wild rocket also consists of Vitamin K that may interfere with blood thinning medication or warfarin.
  • People who are under medication should confirm the doctor or any health care provider before consuming wild rocket.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=502098#null

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Diplotaxis+tenuifolia

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/113921

https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=DITE4

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2771347

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplotaxis_tenuifolia

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/DIPTE

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The content and the information in this website are for informational and educational purposes only, not as a medical manual. All readers are urged to consult with a physician before beginning or discontinuing use of any prescription drug or under taking any form of self-treatment. The information given here is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. If you are under treatment for any health problem, you should check with your doctor before trying any home remedies. If you are following any medication, take any herb, mineral, vitamin or other supplement only after consulting with your doctor. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical help. The Health Benefits Times writers, publishers, authors, its representatives disclaim liability for any unfavorable effects causing directly or indirectly from articles and materials contained in this website www.healthbenefitstimes.com