Here we are again in October, a time to dig our medicinal roots and to begin to make Medicines to see us through Winter.
We are lucky enough to have a massive amount of Horseradish or Armoracia rusticana to be able to harvest.
I remember as a child being sent off up the lane to dig the roots for horseradish sauce!
Digging the root releases the pungent aroma, for me one whiff clears my sinus’
Dr. Christopher recommended horseradish as a reliable remedy for sinus infections. Start with 1/4 teaspoon of the freshly grated root and hold it in your mouth until all the taste is gone. It will immediately start cutting the mucus loose from the sinuses to drain down the throat. This will relieve the pressure in your sinuses and help clear infection. I think you would have to be fairly brave to do that!
I have found further references to the Immune Modulation effect, also Antibiotic possibly due to the Sulphur content, Antioxidant as well as a Spleen and liver tonic.
It is most definitely a circulatory stimulant, there are also references of usage as a rubifacient for joint problems such as Arthritis both topically and internally – Culpeper said:
Horseradish is also an expectorant as are many warming herbs, helping to shift and eliminate stuck mucous.
The hot, characteristic taste of this plant is due to the Glucosinolates, a very interesting group of chemical constituents which have undergone some research and studies.
In the body, Glucosinolates break down into isothiocyanates and indoles, I have come across Indoles before with reference to the anti-cancer properties of Broccoli, Broccoli and Horseradish belong to the same family – Cruciferae
The studies which are referenced below were very positive with regard to the potential use of Horseradish in increasing the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogens and potentially suppressing the growth of existing cancerous tumors.
Our folklore tells us this is an ancient plant, Pliny mentions it as a medicine, Gerard mentions it as an accompaniment to food. The name Horseradish is derived from the German word for Sea Radish, it does indeed grow along coastal areas. The origin is unknown but it is thought to come from Russia.
Although we know more about the use of the root, there are references to the leaves being used: a bruised leaf laid across the back of the neck is a reported cure for headaches, so possible analgesic action due to the warmth of the plant encouraging blood flow?
So there is so much more to the humble horseradish other than as a wonderful accompaniment to roast beef or BBQ Mackerel!
So what of our wonderful fresh root picked yesterday? As it needs to be used fresh and responds very well to being grated, I have already made a batch of the famous Master Tonic!
If you fancy having a go yourself, pop up to Culberry Nursery where Martin will be happy to supply you with some freshly dug root at a very reasonable price, or go forth into the countryside and find some wild.
- Organic hot Onion
- Ginger root
- hot hot chilli peppers
I grate the onion, horseradish and ginger, chop the chilli’s and peel the garlic
put all ingredients in a jar and cover with cider vinegar – preferably unpasturised – ‘with the mother’
place in a dark cupboard and shake every day for 14 days, strain through muslin or coffee filters, bottle and use as needed.
I use it in gravies and soups but also take a couple of dessert spoons a day at the first sign of a sinus blockage or onset of ‘flu like symptoms, last year it was my saviour when I had tonsilitis
- Horseradish – circulatory stimulant, expectorant, immune modulator
- Ginger – circulatory stimulant, takes the herbs where they need to go
- Garlic – antiseptic, anti-viral, antibacterial
- Onion – expectorant, antiseptic
- Chilli – antibacterial, analgesic, contain Vitamin C