Arugula: Properties and benefits

Written by Veronica Lavenia

Rucola is the Italian word for Arugula (American English) or Rocket (British English). It is one of the most ancient and noble plants in the Mediterranean area. Known at the time of the Greeks and Romans, Dioscorides, Greek physician and pharmacist, attributed to the arugula/Rocket digestive properties. In ancient Rome, rockets were used as a basic ingredient of love filters.

Precisely for these alleged virtues, during the Middle Ages, the cultivation of rockets was forbidden in the monasteries. According to a legend, it seems that some monks, after drinking a rocket-based liqueur, abandoned the vow of chastity.

Arugula/Rocket: variety

The rocket (scientific name Eruca sativa), is a plant that, until a few centuries ago, was consumed exclusively in its wild version. Today, it is cultivated intensively. There are no nutritional differences between the spontaneously growing version and the one produced with the help of human intervention. Of course, like all non-organic vegetables, there are many toxic pesticides in it, so it is better to buy organic arugula/rocket or to grow your rocket. It grows very quickly. In milder climates, it is possible to collect it already after 40 days. It needs little water and is suitable for those who have no experience with the vegetable garden.

Arugula: Property and benefits

The Arugula /Rocket is rich in water and has a draining action for the body. It also has diuretic effects and helps to detoxify the liver. Rich in vitamin A, B and K, it helps to strengthen the skeleton.

It strengthens the immune system, thanks to the presence of vitamin A. Arugula/Rocket also avoids the formation of gas in the intestine. Scientific studies have shown that beta carotene, contained in rocket, helps prevent bladder, prostate, stomach and colon cancers as it fights carcinogens. In addition, Arugula/Rocket contains glucosinolates substances that help the body to defend itself from the attack of viruses, bacteria.

The vitamin B contained in the arugula/rocket stimulates the metabolism, increases the production of red blood cells and participates in the synthesis of fats. The high iron content makes this herb suitable for those suffering from anemia.

The Italian rule:

In Italy, arugula/rocket is a very popular vegetable. Usually, Italians love to eat it in salad with some good olive oil and some drops of balsamic vinegar. It is consumed alone or with good Parmigiano (and a few slices of bresaola for those who love it).

How to store Arugula/rocket:

The washed and dried rocket can be stored in a bag for food and stored in the fridge for a few days.


Like any food, if consumed in excess, arugula/rocket has contraindications

Excessive consumption of arugula/ rocket can have an inflammatory effect on the body. The right amount should be a handful of leaves a day.

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About the author

Veronica Lavenia

PhD (former University academic).
Her scientific papers have been published in some of the most renowned international literary academic journals.
Italian based writer and magazine contributor.
Author of six books, some of her works have appeared in the most popular International food magazines.
Food Connoisseur.
EVOO Communicator.
Founder of #evoostories and #storiedievo at @veronicalavenia_
Founder of the EVOO Column at "The Wolf Post".
Columnist and translator at "The Wolf Post".