You may best associate horseradish with that spicy addition to your sandwich, but there is plenty else to get fired up about where this ingredient is concerned.
It has many medicinal benefits as well as a spicy kick, so here's why you should consider adding it to your daily routine.
What is horseradish?
A perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family that also includes the other spicy condiments mustard and wasabi as well as healthy cruciferous veggies such as cabbage and broccoli, horseradish features thick, fleshy white roots.
These are known for their strong and intense pungent smell and taste. Horseradish is often used in cooking with its root grated and mixed into other flavourings to make a sauce or relish.
What are the traditional medical uses for horseradish?
It has been cultivated and used medicinally for around 2,000 years. Traditionally, it has been used to treat a wide range of conditions from hayfever, facial pain and sinus infections to kidney stones and indigestion.
It has widely been used as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial agent and expectorant, which means it may encourage your body to cough up mucus and treat coughs.
Some people use it to treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones and fluid retention as it is a diuretic. This means it may be able to increase urine output so the bacteria can be passed out of the system much more quickly.
It might also be able to help with coughs, bronchitis, gout and inflammation as it may help to fight bacteria and reduce spasms.
It may also help treat painful or swollen joints, tissues or minor muscle aches when applied as a paste to the skin.
One of the main chemicals in horseradish that provides it with so many health benefits is its glucosinolates.
What are glucosinolates?
Described as health supportive molecules, glucosinolates not only give horseradish its hot and spicy taste, but can provide countless benefits.
These are a group of vitamins, chemicals and other nutrients that break down into biologically active compounds.
What are the health benefits provided by glucosinolates?
These may have an effect on water retention thanks to a stimulating effect on blood capillaries. This is thanks to sinigrin, one of the most powerful glycosides in this root.
However, an additional benefit may be found if you have a cold or hayfever, as this root can act as a decongestant.
Horseradish may be able to prevent mucus from accumulating in your sinus cavities, so you feel less blocked up and more ready to get on with life.
If you’ve ever eaten wasabi while you have a cold, you may know what to expect!
This makes it the perfect herb to turn to when you feel a sinus infection coming on.
A sinus infection is also known as sinusitis and causes the lining of your nasal passages to become inflamed or swollen.
These often occur after a viral, fungal or bacterial infection as a result of damage to the nasal passages.
You may experience large amounts of mucus accumulating in the sinuses, which encourages bacteria to thrive, potentially leading to an infection.
Sinusitis is also often accompanied by a headache as well as runny or stuffy nose and facial pain.
Horseradish may be able to thin this mucus and move out the thicker accumulated mucus, so you feel less blocked up and the pressure in your sinuses is reduced.
However, remember free flowing mucus at the end of a cold can indicate your body is ridding itself of waste, so you are well on the way to recovery.
What other health benefits are provided by horseradish?
When you are under the weather, it is important to boost your supply of healthful vitamins and minerals.
Luckily, horseradish can help being high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C.
Nature’s Own Triple Strength Garlic + C, Horseradish contains a triple strength dose of four natural herbs plus vitamin C for the symptomatic relief of hayfever, allergies and cold symptoms. Buy it now from our secure on-line shop.
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Have you tried taking Horseradish for medicinal purposes before? What was the reason, and did it work?
What’s your favourite recipe using horseradish?