|Scientific name:||Eruca sativa Miller|
|Common name:||Garden Rocket, Roquette, Arugula|
|Hebrew name:||בן-חרדל מצוי ,רוֹקֶט או ארוגולה|
|Plant Family:||Cruciferae / Brassicaceae, מצליבים|
|Life form:||Therophyte, annual|
|Stems:||Up to 60 cm by 30 cm|
|Leaves:||Alternate, rosette, dissected once, dentate or serrate|
|Fruits / pods:||Siliqua 12–35 mm long with an apical beak, and containing several seeds|
|Flowering Period:||January, February, March, April|
|Distribution:||Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts|
|Chorotype:||Med - Irano-Turanian|
Eruca, Latin name for Eruca sativa or rocket-salad.
In the Bible Eruca sativa is mentioned as oroth, in Arabic it is called jarjir and in the Talmud it appears as gargir. It can probably be identified with Eruca sativa. Oroth seems not to be a specific plant, but the Aramaic translation is 'vegetables'. The biblical verb aroh, means 'to collect, pick, gather.' It was found that rocket was used as a garden crop and spice. It was also known as a medicinal plant and was used as an aphrodisiac, for eye infections, and for digestive and kidney problems.
170. EUZOMON. Eruca sativa, Rocket.
Ευζωμον [the Romans call it Eruca, ye Aegyptians Ethrekicen, the Africans Asuric] This being eaten raw in any great quantitie doth provoke Venery, and the seed of it also doth work ye like effect, being ureticall and digestive, & good for ye belly. They doe also use the seed of it in making of sawces, which that it may endure the longer, having macerated it first in vinegar, or milke, making it into Trochiscks, they afterward lay it up in store. There also grows a wild Eruca, especially in Iberia towards ye west, whose seed the men there doe use instead of Mustard. It is more diureticall, & farre sharper than the Sative.
First the Gemara (c. 500 CE), Yoma 18, cites a verse from the book of II Kings 4:39-40:
Gargir (white-mustard) is referred to in II Kings as 'Oros' - because it lights up the eyes.
Rabbi Yochanan: why is this called "orot" [the Hebrew plural for lights: or=light]: because it lightens /brightens the eyes.
Rabbi Huna: who finds "gargir" [eruca] should possibly eat it and if not wipes it over his eyes.
Rabbi Papa points out that this applies only to Gargir Metzarna'ah (,גרגיר מצרנה border grain - meaning those that grow on the border which do not have other seeds growing around them to weaken their strength.
Rocket is a good salad herb if it be eaten with Lettuce, Purslane, and such cold herbes...
The use of Rocket stirs up bodily lust, especially the seed. It provokes urine and causes good digestion".