The entire brooklime plant has numerous uses - both as a food and also medicine. The fleshy leaves of this semi-aquatic plant may be consumed raw or after cooking. The raw leaves of the herb may be mixed with salads or with watercress, another partially aquatic plant that is used as salads, in soups and for garnishing. The leaves of the brooklime plant may also be cooked with along other tasty and aromatic green leafy vegetables. The leaves of this partially aquatic herb have a sharp taste and are very nutritious. However, they are not very pleasant to consume. Although the medicinal value of the brooklime plant is not very significant, the whole plant is useful for restoring normal health. The herb is used as an alternative medicine and protects against scurvy, reduces high fever and is emmenagouge as well as slightly diuretic increasing the outflow of urine. In addition, when this herb is added to meals, it functions as a purgative. Herbalists often prescribe the herb to heal scurvy (a disease caused by shortage of vitamin C) and also to cleanse the blood. Moreover, the herb is pounded and made into a poultice to apply externally to heal sores, burns, whitlows (infectivity of the toe and fingers) and other similar problems. Although the brooklime plant's ability to stop bleeding is not significant, in earlier times, herbal medical practitioners used the herb to heal open wounds. The juice extracted from the brooklime plant, along with the sap from Seville oranges and scurvy-grass, were once known as the 'spring juice'. This 'spring juice' was held in high esteem in earlier times for their ability to cure scurvy. It may be mentioned here that the brooklime plant has always been a favorite herb for healing scrofulous or diseased conditions, particularly of the skin.
The brooklime is a very common semi-aquatic plant that is found in abundance in most of the places, including the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and North Africa. Normally, the plant grows in trenches, close to fresh water ponds and along the banks of streams. The plant grows and thrives easily and well in more or less luxuriant earth, but flourishes in shallow streams or water having a depth of approximately 15 cm. This variety of herb has a preference for breezy summer climes and does not require too much of sunlight. The brooklime plant attracts plenty of bees owing to its cluster of blooms and is sometimes referred to as an 'excellent bee plant'. Brooklime is normally propagated through its seeds. The seeds are generally sown in a cold enclosure during the autumn and when the seeds germinate and the seedlings have grown up sufficiently, each of them is carefully pricked and placed in separate pots. Later, during the summer, the plants are placed outside in sunlight. In the event of a person having plenty of brooklime seeds, he may directly sow them in plants' original locations during the spring or the autumn. The plant's division may be done any time during its growing period. Growing the plant from the stem cuttings is quite simple as even a small part of this plant will develop roots when placed in water.
Brooklime contains tannin, some sulphur, a special bitter principle, and a pungent volatile oil.