Horseradish (lat. Armoracia rusticana) is a perennial herb with green leaves, white roots and pungent taste. It originates from the Mediterranean and West Asia. The horseradish root is usually used in the diet, but the young leaves of the plant are also extremely tasty and slightly spicy.
Horseradish health benefits were known to the ancient Greeks as well. Even in 1500 BC they used it to relieve back pain and as a powerful aphrodisiac. The following saying comes since those days: “The radish is worth its weight in lead, the beet its weight in silver, the horseradish its weight in gold”.
The fresh root is taken out from the soil from July to November, while the leaves are collected from May to August.
Due to its composition (vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, iron, calcium, vitamin B2, magnesium, phosphorus …) the horseradish, in addition to being an excellent food, is also exceptional as a healing agent.
It is an essential addition to a variety of dishes, especially with fatty foods, because it eases the digestion. The horseradish cleanses the organism, improves the metabolism, reduces fatigue, and it is mostly recommended for diabetics. It stimulates the reproduction and development of the good bacteria in the intestines.
The horseradish juice destroys bacteria such as dysentery, salmonella, tuberculosis, and many fungi and parasites on humans and plants. It improves the function of the digestive system by stimulating the secretion of gastric and intestinal juices, the bile and enzymes from the pancreas. The horseradish also stimulates the liver, the heart and circulation, and in addition, it is an excellent diuretic and helps with rheumatism.
However, horseradish is very effective especially in the period of colds. It has been proven that aromas in the horseradish are the most helpful in the fight against colds. The pungent substances in the horseradish are very effective in the healing of sore throat. The horseradish also contains mustard oil, which is proved to be effective against bacteria, viruses and fungi that cause diseases of the respiratory and urinary tracts. These spicy oils stimulate the immune system to fight against the parasites that cause the disease.
You can consume it grated, boiled in milk or mixed with honey.
Be careful with the horseradish
However, you should be careful with the horseradish! More than 80 ml of juice of horseradish root can cause vomiting, and 15 to 20 ml of horseradish seeds boiled in water can cause diarrhea and vomiting. You should be careful with the use of tincture, especially when it comes to fresh wounds. Additional advice: People allergic to onions should avoid horseradish.
Horseradish and honey against colds
There is a homemade recipe which is very helpful for common colds: take a horseradish root, about three centimeters long, wash it, peel it and grate it and then put in a jar that has a lid. Add some honey and leave it closed for several hours.
You should take one teaspoon of this honey, every morning and every evening.
Inhalation for sinuses
Put the horseradish in boiling water, cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam for about ten minutes – before going to sleep. This inhalation cleans the sinuses and relieves the pain.
Against strong headaches
Put some grated horseradish on the back of your head and keep it only for one or two minutes, in order to avoid irritation on the skin.
Problems with the respiratory organs
The horseradish tea eases the breathing and inflammation in the respiratory organs. Pour 2 dl of boiling water over ten grams of grated horseradish, cover it and let it sit for a few minutes. Then strain it and drink it warm.
In the case of asthma, make a mixture that eases the breathing: on low heat cook 4 tablespoons of grated horseradish mixed with a glass (2dcl) of apple cider vinegar. When the horseradish gets soft, strain it and add the same amount of honey. Return the pot on the heat and cook until the mixture thickens and then let it cool off. Pour it into jars and keep them in the refrigerator.
Horseradish vinegar for more beautiful skin
Put fifty grams of grated horseradish in one liter of apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 8 days in a dark place. This product is very tasty for seasoning salads and it is recommended as a good remedy for freckles, skin rash caused by an allergy to the sun or to treat and calm the pimples and acne. It is enough to occasionally apply this effective product on the affected places.
An additional advice:
How to keep the root fresh?
You can use the fresh root during the entire year if you occasionally bury it in wet sand or keep it in the basement.
If you have a bigger root, you can grate the needed amount and wrap the rest of it in an aluminum foil and keep it in the refrigerator in a box for vegetables.
If you want to keep the grated horseradish fresh even after three weeks, you should mix it with a teaspoon of sugar and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and vinegar. In a well closed jar, you can keep the horseradish in the refrigerator for 3 weeks.