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Disclaimer: The information on is intended to improve your knowledge about herbs and their benefits. Articles on this website are not intended to replace medical treatment from your doctor. Always consult your doctor before starting a new treatment regimen.


Arugula on Salad

By Dr. Ashraf Girgis ND

Arugula (Eruca vesicaria sativa) is used as a green salad. Arugula belongs to the family of Brassicaceae, Mustard, or the Cruciferous family. It is an annual plant. Other commonly known names are salad rocket, rucola, rucoli, rugula, colewort, and roquette. 

1. Composition

Arugula is a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fats such as the fatty acid, tocopherol, and phytosterol. The primary fatty acid is erucic acid. Arugula contains vitamins A, C, B (thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Panthothenic Acid), E, and K. It also contains minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese among others. 100 grams of arugula contains 91.7 g water, 2.6 g protein, 2.0 g carbohydrates, 1.6 g fiber, and .7g fat.

Consuming 2 cups of arugula will provide 20% of your daily requirement of vitamin A, over 50% of your vitamin K requirement, and 8% of your vitamin C requirement. It also contains your folate and calcium needs for the day. Each cup has only 10 calories.



2. History

Arugula is indigenous to Mediterranean and Western Asian countries. It has been used in Italy since ancient Roman times. According to the Cambridge World History of Food, arugula seed has been used as an ingredient in aphrodisiac concoctions dating back to the first century, AD.

[In Italy, arugula is used in a dish called straccietti, where it is paired with thin slices of beef. It has also been used as a salad during Roman times. Baby arugula leaves are used as a salad in the United States and many part of the world today. One can find it easily in most grocery store salad sections.

3. Health Benefits of Arugula

The arugula leaf is known to be an aphrodisiac (Fernand 1993). As a result, it was forbidden from monestary gardens in the middle ages (Mascagno 1997). Virgilius, an ancient Roman poet, wrote about arugula: “Arugula excites the sexual desire in drowsy people”.

An infusion of arugula (4-8%) is suggested for itching and scaling, Arugula also is anti-inflammatory. It has tonic, digestive, diuretic, depurative (purifying), astringent (contraction of body tissues, especially skin), laxative, and stimulant effects.

Blood Pressure


According to Ellison, It has been used in lotions to decrease itching in the scalp. It has been used for its anti-inflammatory effects in colitis, and for its anti-ascorbic effects in gum inflammation and catarrh (excess mucus secretion). Arugula has high amounts of nitrate (250mg/100g), and nitrate has shown to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure.

Arugula belongs to the cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, kale, cabbage, watercress). Cruciferous vegetables have sulfur-containing compounds (sulforaphane) that have shown anti-cancerous properties in lab studies.
Low levels of vitamin K have been associated with osteoporosis and an increased risk of bone fractures. 2 cups of arugula (about 40g) provides a good amount of calcium and about 64 mg of vitamin K.

5. Risk Factors and Side Effects

Arugula has vitamin K; therefore, it will interact with the action of any blood thinning medications such as Coumadin (warfarin). Additionally, arugula has a high nitrate content, which can affect you if you are taking nitroglycerine, tadalafil, vardenafill, sildenafil citrate, or any medication with high amounts of nitrate. Please check with your practitioner.

Side Effect


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Barbara Bowman. "Arugula." : Article. , n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
"Composition and Physical Properties of Arugula, Shepherd's Purse, and Upland Cress Oils." N.p., July 2010. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
"Composition and Physical Properties of Arugula, Shepherd's Purse, and Upland Cress Oils." N.p., July 2010. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
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"Nutrition Facts." And Analysis for Arugula, Raw. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
"Rocket." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
"10 Health Benefits of Arugula." Http:// N.p., 26 July 2012. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
"What Is Arugula?" WiseGEEK. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.

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