Arugula (Eruca vesicaria) is also known as rocket, roquette, Italian cress and roka. Arugula is native to the Mediterranean region, where it grows so wild and abundantly, it only recently became cultivated. Arugula is a member of the Brassicaceae (Mustard) Family and relative of watercress. It is gaining popularity as a salad green. Arugula is pungent, warm and highly alkaline. It stimulates the liver and lungs.
Arugula contains dithiolthiones, which are antioxidant and anti-cancer compounds, as well as beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and sulfur. Arugula is antiseptic (antibiotic and antiviral properties). It is recommended as a preventative food by the American Cancer Society and has been used to treat scurvy. Use young green leaves, as older leaves become bitter and intense. It is best when added to a salad containing other greens.