Medicinal properties of the herb horseradish are known to mankind since thousands of years. It is the plant belonging to same Brassicaceae family to which mustard, broccoli and cabbage belong. No one knows for sure of its actual origin, but centuries ago natives of Easter Europe and Middle East began to cultivate horseradish in their fields for medicinal and culinary properties.
It is now grown all over the globe. This perineal palnt is also known by other names such as Armoracia rusticana, Mountain radish, Cochlearia armoracia, Great raifort etc. The plant grows up to 2 meters and has large leaves, a stem and white roots.Although the leaves and roots both have beneficial properties, it is the root that is frequently used as medicament.
In its intact state, the root does not spread any aroma. But once cut or scraped, it has astounding penetrating smell which can make your eyes stream even more than onions do. It has sharp and strong taste. The enzymes present in horseradish are responsible for its pungency. Freshly cut or shaved root quickly turns bitter if not preserved in lemon juice or vinegar.
Nutrition Facts Of Horseradish
Horseradish is a rich source of calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron and copper.The pungent and spicy taste is due to volatile oils present in it, it serves to be a natural antibacterial agent.
The calories and fat content is almost negligible. Besides, horseradish contains carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber, and glucosinolates. Glucosinolates act as valuable antioxidants and therefore they contribute in increasing the immunity. The vitamin component of horseradish consists of B1, B6, folate, and B2. The content of vitamin C in horseradish is more than that found in oranges and lemon.
Health Benefits Of Horseradish Root
The health promoting properties of horseradish are time tested since centuries.
- Respiratory ailments: The extract from roots of horseradish has compounds that thin out mucus from nose. Therefore, it is valuable in sinusitis. It is also beneficial in preliminary stage of cold. Take horseradish once you feel impending cold as it can abort it or reduce the symptoms. It also works well in influenza and hay fever. The symptom severity is substantially reduced. Paste prepared from dried roots can be applied locally on chest. For headaches caused due to sinusitis, press leaves of the plant on your forehead.
- Natural antibiotic: Its natural antibiotic properties are due to glucosinolates present in it. This compound is especially found in plants of mustard family to which horseradish belongs. They act as antioxidants and increase the blood flow in the affected area of infection. It helps to remove the infective organism. The antibiotic property is also beneficial in various infections such as urinary tract infection, bronchitis etc.
Medicinal Uses For Horseradish
- Expels kidney stone: Its diuretic properties help to increase the production of urine and thus tiny kidney stones are flushed out from the body.
- Calms down accelerated thyroid: The extract derived from horseradish has properties to calm down increased function of thyroid gland.
- Raises immune level: The glucosinolates present in horseradish stimulates a person’s immune level. Research also suggests it to be a detoxifying agent for carcinogenic materials present in liver. Thus it helps to prevent formation of tumors and also arrests the growth of already present tumor.
- Rheumatic pain: It is an age old practice to apply juice extracted from leaves of horseradish for alleviating pain in rheumatism. This quality is due to its anti inflammatory property.
- Vermifuge: Horseradish is a natural vermifuge. Worms present in intestine are killed due to compounds present in horseradish.
- Skin conditions: Grate fresh horseradish and mix it with buttermilk. Apply it on acne and blackheads. Regular use of this mixture heals acne and removes blackheads.
Recipe For Homemade Horseradish
- 4 to 5 horseradish roots.
- Half cup of water.
- One teaspoon of vinegar or two tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Pinch of salt.
- Peel horseradish roots and cut them into pieces.
- Keep them at arm’s length as it may become irritating to your eyes.
- Add a cup of water and put them in the food processor and grind it well.
- Add a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
- With a spoon transfer the product in a jar.
- You can keep it for a week in refrigerator.