Latin Name: Amoracia rusticana
Most folks are used to thinking of horseradish as only a garnish for oysters and other seafoods. However, it is also an excellent herb for the treatment of arthritic joints, cancer prevention, and more!
Below is an overview of horseradish, combining and interpreting the best of Western science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), shamanism, folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of horseradish. Have we sparked your interest? Sign up, FREE, for access to all of our herbal PDFs and our Exclusive Member Only Offers! Your satisfaction is guaranteed.
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Western Name: Horseradish
Also Known As: Mountain Radish, Radicle, Raifort
Organs/Systems: Immune System, Lungs, Head
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Strong Diuretic traditionally used to treat kidney problems. Used externally as a poultice for treating rheumatic joints and chilblains. Inhibits thyroid and restores pancreas (hyperthyroidism, goiter, chronic high or low blood sugar). Prevents cancer. Anti-anemic, Anti-parasite, and Aperient properties. Coronary vasodilator, sinus relief, asthma, colds and flu.
Pin Yin: La Gen
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Lung, Spleen, Large Intestine
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Strengthen Yang: dispels cold and treats external conditions (chills and fevers, especially when chill is prominent). Treats Phlegm in Lungs: Like curries, it is used in summer heat to cool off heat due to its dispersing properties. Support Liver Yang: anemia, wind damp conditions, lymphatic congestion. Warms and Invigorates the Lungs: white cold phlegm, coughing, loose stool, no appetite. Promotes Urination/Removes Blockages: kidney stones, retained placenta, cardiac edema. Restrains Infection: wounds, skin blemishes, poisoning (mushrooms, food or herbs) intestinal parasites.
Likely native to southeastern Europe and Saudi Arabia, although it is now found everywhere. Found on banks and roadsides. It is a perennial with a thick, white, tapering root. Large stalked leaves resemble those of dock but are shiny, lighter green and less tough. Small white flowers appear mid-Summer to mid-Autumn.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Root
Flavors: Acrid, Spicy, Very Pungent, Warming
Caution: Hot stimulant so be careful not to overdue; not good for acute heat conditions.
History/Folklore: Cultivated since antiquity by the Greeks and Egyptians. The Greek Oracle at Delphi told Apollo that the radish was worth its weight in lead, the beet its weight in silver and the horseradish its weight in gold.There is a mural in Pompeii depicting the plant. Root and leaves were used in The Middle Ages.
Currently, people in Germany, Scandinavia, Great Britain, and the U.S. use horseradish as a condiment. This herb’s name may derive from the historical use of horses to stomp on the root in preparation for grating. However, it is important to note that it is poisonous to horses.
Sinigrin (glucosinolate that produces allyl isothiocyanate, mustard oil). Potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and volatile oils (allyl). Fresh contains average 79.31 mg of Vitamin C per 100 g of raw horseradish. Also, bioflavonoid rich. Glucosinolates (compounds shown to increase resistance to cancer).
A member of the Brassicaceae family (mustard, cabbage, broccoli, etc.).
Apple cider vinegar is reportedly the best solvent for horseradish.
Commercial wasabi used in Japanese sushi restaurants is preserved horseradish that is prepared with green food colorings. Real wasabi is a different plant altogether; it is very difficult to grow and too expensive to serve in most restaurants.
References: Wikipedia, The Energetics of Western Herbs, Comoxvalleyacupuncture.com, Vitalitymagazine.com.