Horseradish, Uses of Horseradish, Horseradish uses, herb

Armoracia rusticana Brassicaceae.

More familiar as a piquant condiment to accompany belif, horseradish has been used in Europe as a medicine for centuries. It has large leaves and a thick root with brown skin and white flesh. The root is rich in vitamin C, and sailors used to take it with them on long voyages to prevent scurvy.


  • Do not use pure, untreated juice or extract of horseradish as its caustic effects can irritate the digestive tract.
  • Do not give to children.
  • Not recommended for individuals with gastric ulcers or those suffering with thyroid disorders.
  • Externally, the essential oil may cause skin irritation and burning.
  • Keep away from the eyes.

Parts used

  • Roots
  • The root - similar to a large parsnip - is collected in autumn.
  • It may be used in tinctures but this is rare: it is best used fresh and can be kept for months in a refrigerator.
  • Horseradish is used in some pharmaceutical products.


Horseradish contains an essential oil rich in sweet-smelling sulphur compounds known as glucosilinates. These compounds are found only in plants belonging to the mustard family. They can irritate the skin, causing blistering and burning. Horseradish contains twice as much vitamin C as lemon, and alsocontains B group vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus.

Medicinal uses

Horseradish stimulates the appetite and digestive juices, making animal and vegetable fats more easily digested. This makes it a good accompaniment for oily fish and rich meat. Traditional herbalists prescribed it for its strong diuretic properties to treat kidney stones and urine retention.

Horseradish is still used for urinary infections and fluid retention. The fact that it increases perspiration means it can be used to lower fevers. Its high vitamin C content, antibacterial action and expectorant qualities make it a good remedy for coughs and bronchitis.It is a rubefacient, that is, it heats the skin temporarily, and can be useful for treating painful ailments such as arthritis and gout.


Easily grown from root cuttings in well-drained, rich soil, in sun or partial shade. But beware - once established it is hard to control.


For internal use

Horseradish should only be used medicinally in consultation with a medical herbalist

For external use

TO TREAT rheumatic pain, arthritis
POULTICE Spread fresh, grated root on a linen cloth. Lay on the affected area, with cloth against the skin, until a glowing sensation is felt.



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