Horseradish Health Benefits

Horseradish Health benefits, Side Effects

What is Horseradish is a strong flavored vegetable root used as condiments with many folkloric health benefits.
Horseradish Health Benefits Horseradish has been traditionally used to treat urinary tract infection, coughs, colds and many others..


Horseradish Side effects and warnings. Horseradish is considered safe at recommended dosages. May cause side effects such as irritation to the mucus lining on the mouth, throat, stomach and urinary tract.

What is Horseradish

Common Names: Mountain Radish, Great Raifort, Red Cole

Scientific Name: Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia armoracia

horseradish roots

Horseradish which is native to Europe and Asia has long since been cultivated all over the world for its edible roots and leaves. Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a large-leaf perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family that includes wasabi, cabbage and mustard. Horseradish is a popular herb used as flavoring and condiments for food and valued likewise as a medicinal herb with many health benefits. Horseradish has a very strong, sharp spicy and bitter taste which is largely taken in sliced, grated or powdered forms.

Horseradish plant description

Horseradish grows up to 1.5 meters in height with large long leaves forming a rosette from the basal cluster. Horseradish leaves are light to deep green in color about 10 cm wide with noticeable veins and irregular margins.  Horse radish flowers appear in midsummer along the stems that rise above the leaves. The flowers have four white petals that produce barren seeds. Horseradish is entirely propagated by roots that are tan or brownish in color but white inside. The roots grow to about 60 cm in the ground, branching with fine rootlets.

Horseradish roots will release a distinctive pungent odor when damaged or cut. Sliced roots will turn yellow if not preserved immediately.

Nutrients and Chemical Constituents of Horseradish

Horseradish is known to contain low amount of calories and fat but rich in fiber. Horseradish likewise contains vitamins and minerals and some phyto-chemical compounds that includes allyl isothiocyanate, 3-butenyl isothiocyanate, 2-propenylglucosinlate (sinigrin), 2-pentyl isothiocyanate, and phenylethyl isothiocyanate

Traditional Health Benefits of Horseradish

In folk medicine, horseradish is used for its many health benefits. Among the many health benefits of horseradish include its antimicrobial activity, antispasmodic properties, as a diuretic and purgative.

More popular traditional health benefits from horseradish include treatment for:

  • Achy joints and muscles,
  • Appetite Stimulant
  • Bronchitis,
  • Colds,
  • Colic,
  • Cough,
  • Diabetes,
  • Fluid retention (edema),
  • Gallbladder disorders,
  • Gout,
  • Hay fever,
  • Headache,
  • Intestinal worms in children,
  • Kidney stones,
  • Leprosy,
  • Rheumatism,
  • Sciatic nerve pain (sciatica),
  • Sinus congestion,
  • Toenails ingrown.
  • Tonsillitis,
  • Toothache,
  • Urinary tract problems,

Scientific Studies of Horseradish Health Benefits

Anti Fungi and Anti bacteria benefit from Wasabi and Horseradish

In the Journal of Biofactors, 2000, a study has been published detailing the functional properties of wasabi and horseradish. The study was released from the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Japan stating that Wasabi (Wasabi japonica) and horseradish (Cholearia arnoracia) contains a potent component Allylisothiocyanate (AIT) that shows inhibitory effect on the growth of food poisoning bacteria and fungi.

Antioxidant and Anti Cancer Benefits from Horseradish

In the same study, it has been found that Allylisothiocyanate (AIT) in wasabi and horseradish has a functional antioxidant property in vitro. The superoxide scavenging potency of horseradish inhibits the mutation toward 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline [MeIQx], a well-known mutagen/carcinogen in broiled fish and meat. The results of the study suggest that wasabi and horseradish are functional foods that provide many health benefits.

Another study found in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. March 2005 reported that horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) and Wasabi (Wasabia japonica).have tumor cell proliferation and cyclooxygenase inhibitory constituents. Horseradish and wasabi constituents at a concentration of 60 microgram/mL inhibited the growth of colon, lung, and stomach cancer cells by 28, 17, and 44%, respectively. This is the first report of the COX-1 enzyme and cancer cell growth inhibitory monogalactosyl diacylglycerides supported the anticancer benefits from wasabi and horseradish rhizomes.

Immune Boosting Benefits of Horseradish

In the Journal of Cell Biology, a report was published detailing the interaction of particulate horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-anti HRP immune complexes with mouse peritoneal macrophages in vitro. Results have shown that the extensive capacity of macrophages to interiorize and destroy large amounts of antigen after the formation of antibody illustrates a role of this cell in the efferent limb of the immune response.

Other studies suggest that horseradish stimulates the production of leukocytes and phagocytes, which are two important immune-supporting antibodies.

Horseradish Availability and Preparation

Where to buy Horseradish

Horseradish roots are available in the vegetable section in most grocery stores, while horseradish syrups and sauces are in the condiments sections.

Horseradish medicines are available in most health stores.  

Horseradish is available in many forms thereby there are many ways to take it. It is best to follow the instructions of your trusted medical practitioner or follow the recommended dosage in the product labels.

Horseradish can be in tincture, horseradish vinegar, horseradish flour or horseradish cataplasm forms

Horseradish is also available in such as this one:

Horseradish Side Effects and Warnings

Horseradish is considered safe when taken as food and medicine in moderate amounts in most people.

Horseradish contains mustard oil whose side effects may include irritation of the mouth, the throat, stomach lining and urinary tract. Other side effects include diarrhea, bloody vomiting, upset stomach and thyroid gland function disruptions

Horseradish when used externally onto the skin can cause skin irritation and allergies for sensitive people.

Pregnant and Breast Feeding Women and Children

Horseradish is considered safe to eat by pregnant or breast feeding women if taken as a functional vegetable in a regular food diet.

Horseradish contains strong compounds that can be toxic and cause irritation for very young children.

Taking horseradish medicines while pregnant or breast feeding is strongly discouraged.

Other Warnings and Precautions

Horseradish can cause irritation in gastrointestinal system and can cause unfavorable side effects for those who already have gastrointestinal conditions.

Kidney problems. Horseradish can increase urine flow and may cause unfavorable side effects to those with kidney related conditions

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