Plants and Health

Turnip: benefits and virtues

Native to Eastern and Northern Europe, the turnip or brassica napus is a root vegetable appreciated for a long time, both for its taste qualities and for its benefits.

Its leaves, edible, erect in inflorescence and can reach 60 cm high.

  • Vegetable garden: how to grow turnips well
  • Kitchen: turnip recipes

Turnip: for the record

Considered a basic vegetable with carrot and the leek,the turnip belongs to the same family as the cabbage.

Originally from Eastern Europe, the first traces of turnip date back to the neolithic period. It’s with the parsnip one of the oldest food roots.

The root of the turnip is very fleshy, although it takes on different shapes that can be round, elongated or even flat.

Today, its production is mainly located in the west of France.

Turnip and its health benefits

  • The turnip is popularly known for its emollient and softening properties. It is also sometimes used against chest diseases (chronic discharge, asthma, whooping cough).
  • Do you know the expression "have turnip blood"? Misunderstanding… Turnip greens, very rich in vitamin C, are an excellent antiscorbutic (scurvy is a disease caused by lack of vitamin C) and turnip is one of the most recommended vegetables againstanemia. Rich in vitamins and trace elements, turnips should be included in the diet of convalescents, weakened people or athletes.
  • The cooked pulp, in external use, is excellent against frostbite, the pains of drop, the dental neuralgia and the milky engorgement of the breasts.

Did you know ?

  • Internal use:

Tisane : obtained either by root decoction, either by leaf infusion, both prepared with 100 grams of vegetables per liter of water.

Juice: extract of the mixture of the whole plant, 100 grams per day againstanemia.

Syrup: boil a pound of turnips in two liters of water. Pass, add 1 kg of sugar and cook in syrup. Against the painful coughs.

  • External use:

Hot poultice: use the pulp of the turnip.

Growing turnips

It’s exposed half shade that your turnips will be the most successful, hot weather makes them fibrous and hollow. Boo ... As for the ground, it must be silty, rather clayey and fresh (but no soggy earth!).

Be careful with limestone, in too large a quantity, it reduces yield and quality.

  1. To read : Turnip cultivation, from sowing to harvest


The fragile stomachs will prefer them new turnips, less rich in sulfur, they are digested better.

The turnip in a pot? If you opt for flat varieties, it is possible, in pots 30 cm deep.

Beware of little animals!

Cabbage fly, turnip fly, flea beetle, butterfly, sawfly and slug… Ouch, ouch, ouch ... They hurt!

Species and varieties of turnip

The so-called "seasonal" varieties:

  • Spring and summer turnips, to sow from March to June:

"De Norfolk" (all white), "Tokyo F1" (all white), "Milan red", "de Nancy" (purple collar), "des Vertus Marteau", "Jaune boule d'or" (slightly sweet flesh) , “Blanc des halles”.

Late varieties:

  • Fall and winter turnip, to sow from June to August:

"Globe white with purple collar", "Hard winter white".

The varieties to force:

  • Turnips to force, to sow in February-March:

"Turnip of Milan" (bright pink collar), "Turnip Nantais" (cylindrical and white), "Turnip of Croissy" (cylindrical and white)

Turnip in the kitchen

The turnip is eaten cooked, in side dish (game, duck) but also in mash potatoes, radish and turnip top soup, pot au feu, vegetable gardener. You can also taste it raw, grated (new turnip).

Good to know: we cook the young leaves like spinach or we add them to the soup!

Nutritional contributions:

21 kcal / 100 g. Turnips are rich in vitamins C, B3 and B6, in fiber and trace elements (iron, potassium and calcium). It is calming and diuretic.

Gourmet idea:

This is unfair and yet the turnip is often unloved. Young and tender with his rosy cheekbones, he turns out to be a excellent new vegetable. In one navarin spring, around a roast chicken with carrots and turnips or caramelized with white onions ... And even steam with a little butter. It will delight your taste buds!

Blandine Merlin

Video: 7 Health Benefits Of Turnips (December 2021).