Though the horseradish plant produces lush green leaves and grows to be nearly 3 ft tall, only the root is used. It is more pungent than its botanical relatives, which include cabbage and broccoli, because it provides a higher concentration of mustard oil. This gives the horseradish root its strong flavour and is also responsible for the root's curative properties. Horseradish is a folk remedy for flu, sore throat and bronchitis. It is used to prepare teas, tinctures and syrups and is also eaten as a condiment. Externally, horseradish can be applied as a poultice to stimulate blood circulation. Like other cruciferous vegetables, it has components that may protect against cancer.
This preparation may help age spots and fade freckles. To make the vinegar, grate a 4 in piece of horseradish root and combine it with 1 pt. of cider vinegar. Let the mixture steep for 14 days, shaking it often. Strain the mixture, and apply the vinegar directly to the skin twice daily for a few weeks.
Horseradish is a potent diuretic that also promotes perspiration, making it useful in the treatment of fever. When mixed with honey to form a syrup, it can be an effective remedy for hoarseness and cough from colds and flu. Plus, horseradish stimulates the appetite and promotes digestion. When applied externally, it stimulates circulation. Just a small dose of it is sufficient to reap its curative powers; eating very large amounts at one sitting may cause gastrointestinal distress.
When horseradish is grated or cut, water and enzymes from the plant combine to form mustard oil. This substance is responsible for horseradish's hot, spicy taste and germicidal properties. The root also contains vitamin C.
The antiaging root
Horseradish can help counteract many age related changes. In addition to possibly fading age spots, it strengthens blood vessels, improves blood flow and regulates blood pressure. It can also aid digestion.
Horseradish poultice for joint pain and sciatica
Finely grate a 4 inch piece of horseradish and mix the gratings with a little water to make a paste. Spread a thick layer of the paste on a cloth, fold it over and apply it to the affected area. The mustard oil improves circulation, stimulates the skin and heats the area. Remove the poultice after 5 min to prevent irritation. If your skin is sensitive, put petroleum jelly on the area before applying the poultice.
Horseradish wine to strengthen the kidneys
Cut a small piece of horseradish into thin slices. Place them in a glass of white wine (preferably from organically grown grapes) and steep overnight. Strain and drink the wine the next day on an empty stomach. This wine has a diuretic effect and may help kidney problems.
Extra tip : Horseradish may ease bronchitis in adults. String thin slices of horseradish on a thread and tie the necklace around your neck. Wear the necklace overnight.
Used for fever, bronchitis, sore throat, influenza, bladder and kidney infections, lack of appetite and digestive problems
Methods of administration
Syrup for cough
Horseradish syrup quells coughs and soothes a sore throat; grate a small piece of horseradish into a small saucepan. Squeeze the pulp over the pan to extract additional juice. Add a little honey and enough water just to cover the pulp; boil for 5 min. let the pulp cool, and then squeeze the pulp again to catch any additional juice; discard the pulp. If desired, mix the horseradish juice with enough honey to make a palatable syrup. Take up to 5 tbsp. of the syrup a day.
Tincture for wounds
This solution disinfects wounds and prevents scarring. Steep 3 tbsp. of grated horseradish in 1 cup of 100 proof alcohol for 30 min. with a slotted spoon, remove the pulp. Place it in a cotton cloth and squeeze it to extract the juice. Combine the juice with the alcohol; discard the pulp. Mix the liquid with 1 cup of water. Soak the cloth in the tincture and apply it as a compress several times a day.
Tea for infection
This tea is good for the flu or urinary tract infections. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of grated horseradish. Steep for 5 min.; strain. Drink 3 cups a day.
Milk for digestion
Horseradish milk aids digestion and limits gas. Mix ½ tsp. of grated horseradish with 1 cup of warm milk. Drink daily for 2-3 weeks.