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Horseradish

It is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and manganese.

· Spice

Have you ever heard of “redcole” or “stingnose” if not, you might commonly know it as “horseradish”.
Horseradish, originally was called “meerrettich” (pronounced meer-ret-tich) meaning “sea radish” in german, as it grows by the sea. Many people think that English mispronounced word “meer” as “mare”, thus the name became “horseradish”.
One alternative theory for its name is... it was described as “hoarse” meaning strong and coarse but got mispronounced as “horseradish”.

In 1869 an innovative entrepreneur Henry J. Heinz prepared horseradish with vinegar and sold it in his hometown. This became a unique product and America’s first commercial convenience food.

Exploring Horseradish

Horseradish is a perennial plant of the mustard family or crucifers including broccoli, mustard greens, kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. Being a colorless, odorless, gawky root horseradish isn’t impressive in its appearance. It is native to eastern Europe. Nowadays, horseradish is extremely popular condiment in both the United States and Europe. It is used in many dishes, sauces, dressings and marinades. The green plant is small around 1 -1 and 1/2 meters but the roots are large and white.

It is rich in dietary fiber, Vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and manganese.

What makes horseradish a great healer?

Horseradish contains the volatile oil sinigrin, which breaks down into allyl isothiocyanate. Allyl isothiocyanate, is a strong natural antibiotic.

 

Horseradish contains many medicinally active compounds that can help clear congestion, thin mucous and reduce inflammation. It can also help body fight bacteria and viruses and stimulate the immune system.

These mustard family members are known for making the plant’s largest amount of isothiocyanates or ITCs. ITCs are the compounds that can protect against cancer. ITCs wouldn’t occur without glucosinolates. When these cruciferous vegetables are cut or chewed—glucosinolates produce ITCs.

 

According to researchers at the University of Illinois horseradish contains more glucosinolates than broccoli. Dr. Mosbah Kushad, this study’s lead researcher stated “Horseradish contains more than 10-fold higher glucosinolates than broccoli, so you don’t need much horseradish to benefit.” According him even a little dab will go a long way in providing the same health benefits as broccoli.

 

Horseradish doesn’t stop with higher concentrations of ITCs, it also contains thiocyanate. Thiocyanate sends a spicy, powerful rush into the nasal cavity when the skin is cut or chewed. Thiocyanate is found in two other spices, mustard seed and wasabi, both from the same family as horseradish.

Horseradish react with moisture in the mouth releasing thiocyanates up into the nasal passage resulting in watery eyes and runny nose. The heat dissolves quickly leaving a unique combined taste of white radish with the kick of a jalapeño.

Health benefits

1. Horseradish is excellent against Urinary Tract Infections
With all the antibiotic properties of horseradish it is great remedy against UTI without any side effects. The volatile oil, sinigrin prevents water retention making it an excellent diuretic. Thus, it can help prevent kidney and urinary infections. Also, allyl isothiocyanate in horseradish has anti-bladder cancer capabilities. It is expelled through the urine making it beneficial for the urinary tract.

2. Horseradish can help treat sciatica pain
Sciatica pain is a type of pain affecting the sciatica nerve, a nerve extending from the lower back down the back of each leg. Horseradish has natural healing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help in treating sciatica and its painful symptom. A natural remedy for sciatic pain is, make a paste of half a horseradish to create at least a tablespoon of paste. Use this paste on the affected area like a poultice for an hour or more.

3. Horseradish strengthens immune system
As we have seen that horseradish is loaded with ITCs and sinigrin that have great antioxidant effects which can help strengthen your immune system. It is also very rich in vitamins and minerals and especially Vitamin C which is powerful antioxidant and is helpful against viral infections. It prevents inflammation and infection by fighting against the free radicals.

Home remedies

1. For making a mucus melting tonic mix horseradish with little apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
2. Hold little freshly grated horseradish root in the mouth for a few minutes. Swallow after few mins.
3. Externally, apply horseradish paste to affected areas to relieve joint and muscle pain.

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