Horseradish is a little-known, poorly appreciated plant. We know it mainly as a flavoring for pickling cucumbers or as an addition to egg pastes or fatty sausages. Meanwhile, horseradish is a very valuable spice and valuable herbal material.
In the past, the horseradish root was used to make medicines
Horseradish root macerate was based on beer and wine and was meant to treat the urinary tract. The mustard oil was distilled from it and then, it was taken for gastrointestinal and respiratory infections. In parasitic diseases, horseradish iodized syrup was made for scurvy and it worked as an expectorant. Horseradish juice based on spirit was used in digestive disorders, and the alcohol extract from the horseradish root, mustard, and ammonium chloride was used in the treatment of scurvy. Freshly grated root has also been used for warming compresses in neuralgia, myalgia, and inflammation. Mainly horseradish root and leaves are used in medicine.
What do horseradish leaves contain?
Horseradish roots and leaves contain glucosinolates. The ones worth mentioning are phytoncides (antimicrobial effect), as well as synaptine, and gluconasturcin. Glucosinolates release fever oil, under the influence of enzymes and acids, which has a sharp, irritating and suffocating odor (Isosarcocyanus allosi). In addition, the leaves and roots of horseradish contain large amounts of vitamin C – about 0.25-0.3 %. Horseradish contains elements such as: iodine, sulfur, iron, calcium, magnesium. Horseradish leaves contain flavonoids such as: quercetin, kemferol, rutin, additionally coumarins, phenolic acids, enzymes myosinase, and peroxidase. These enzymes are also contained in the root. It also occurs in combination with phenylethyl, which is associated with sulfur glycosides that incorporate antibacterial activity.
Fresh horseradish juice destroys a lot of bacteria that are resistant to drugs, ex. Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus. That is why it is used for urinary tract, skin, respiratory, and digestive tract infections. You should take about 20 grams of freshly grated horseradish per day, preferably taken in two portions.
How does horseradish work?
Fresh horseradish whitens the skin, removes numerous spots, stimulates blood circulation locally, inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi. Horseradish root juice combined with acetic, malic, glycolic, succinic, preferably mandelic acid and mixed with vitamin C permanently removes skin discoloration, cleanses pores, softens the epidermis. Grated horseradish combined with mandelic acid treats infections of the genitourinary system and the large intestine. For this purpose, it is best to mix 10 grams of grated horseradish with 1 gram of mandelic acid and take 3 times a day. It is good to drink, at the same time, an infusion of a mixture of herbs: blueberry leaf 2 parts, wildflower herb or knotweed 1 part, bearberry or pear leaf 2 parts, orthosiphon leaf 1 part, herb converts 2 parts, parsley seeds, celery or lovage root 2 parts. Mix and add 1 tablespoon of this mixture per 1 glass of boiling water. Brew 1/2 hour, strain, and drink 3 times a day.
How do fresh and dried horseradish leaves work?
Infusion of horseradish leaves treats respiratory tract infection and allergies. It works supportively in the skin and rheumatic diseases. To this end, macerate should be prepared from fresh leaves. Pour about a tablespoon of ground leaves into a glass of cold water. Let it stand for 6 hours. After this time, strain and drink 1 glass, 2 times a day. For winter, it’s best to freeze fresh horseradish leaves. You can also macerate the root.
Source: Unpopular Horseradish, author dr n. biol. Henryk Stanisław Różański, Magazine: Health without Medicine