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Horseradish, Healthy?

Updated on January 10, 2014



What is horseradish? It is a root vegetable that is native to Russia and Hungary. This perennial plant is used in food dishes; it has a pungent odor to it and is a member of the cabbage family. We may be familiar with it as something that is added to cocktail sauce or used as a garnish for roast beef. This root is harvested in the spring and fall of the year and has a “hot” feeling to it. Why is it hot? It is related to the mustard family sharing its family connections with kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radish and cabbage.


Horseradish has been cultivated for over 3,500 years and used for medicinal purposes and as a pungent condiment. Throughout history it has been used to treat coughs, hoarseness, and whooping cough. Many times it was used by making a plaster or a rub out of it and applying it to the skin. This was to help ease rheumatism, sciatica, facial pain, gout, and other achy and painful conditions.

Ancient Indians would gather horseradish roots and chew them to elevate the pain of tooth aches and other dental problems, and due to the vitamin C in the root it would also prevent scurvy.

Horseradish was also used as a cosmetic to help to remove freckles, clear, and freshen the complexion.

What is in Horseradish?

The chemicals in horseradish act as an irritant, mustard glycosides when applied to the skin cause blood vessels to dilate. Horseradish can be used to help ease pain and break up chest congestion.

What does Science have to say about Horseradish?

Not much, there has been very little in the way of scientific evidence to support horseradish.

Health Benefits of Horseradish

  1. Low fat and high in flavor, is associated with weight loss

  2. Zero fat and only 6 calories.

  3. High in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals

  4. Increases appetite

  5. Aides in digestion

  6. Gastric stimulant, helps to facilitate digestion

  7. Anti-carcinogenic

  8. Medicinal Uses of Horseradish

  1. This root vegetable has been used as a remedy for sinus infections. You would use about ¼ of a teaspoon of grated fresh horseradish root and hold it in your mouth until all of the taste is gone. This is said to cut mucus loose from your sinuses and help it to drain. This relieves the pressure in the sinuses and may help to clear up a sinus infection.

  2. Horseradish is also an antibiotic; it can work against a variety of different bacteria.

  3. It is high in sulphur content which may also contribute to its antibiotic properties.

  4. Used as an effective diuretic, it has been use for centuries for treating kidney stones, and similar conditions.

  5. Horseradish has also been used as a treatment for bladder infections when mixed with apple cider vinegar and honey to taste.

  6. It has been used to help improve digestion.

  7. Helps to clear lung problems, coughs, and asthma.

  8. Horseradish can be used as a skin treatment to remove age spots, and blemishes from the skin.

  9. Is known as an antioxidant and contains a good amount of vitamin C

  10. Has been used as a vermifuge, to kill and rid the body of worms.

  11. Important to the immune system by increasing the amount of white blood cells in the bloodstream.

  12. Has also been used as a tonic for the spleen and liver.

  13. Used to treat urinary tract infections

  14. Some people will apply horseradish directly to swollen joints to ease the pain of minor aches and pains.

When possible it is best to use fresh horseradish as with just about anything when it sits for too long it loses its potency.

Possible adverse side effects

  1. Stomach upset and vomiting

  2. Excessive sweating

  3. Women who are pregnant or lactating are advised not to eat horseradish.

  4. Children under 4 years old should not consume horseradish, as it can cause digestive tract problems

  5. Horseradish can irritate the digestive tract so do not use if you have Irritable bowel disease or other digestive problems.

  6. There is some concern that horseradish will make underactive thyroid gland conditions worse.

  7. Horseradish may increase urine flow and this could present a problem with certain kidney disorders.

Velzipmur aka Shelly Wyatt


Moderate Interactions

if you are taking Levothyroxine for an underactive thyroid, you may want to limit your horseradish intake. Horseradish seems to decrease the thyroid, and taking the two of them together may decrease the effects of Levothyroxine.

More Horseradish

Benefits of Horseradish


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