The most treasured part of the horseradish plant is actually the root of it even though it grows to nearly 3 feet tall and produces lush green leaves.
It is very pungent in smell and taste because it contains a high concentration of mustard oil. While horseradish makes a delicious condiment to go with many different dishes, it also has a variety of health benefits that go beyond adding extra flavor to your meal.
Uses of horseradish:
Age spots and fading freckles: Grate a 4 inch piece of horseradish root and combine it with 1 pint of cider vinegar. Allow the mixture to steep for 14 days, shake it often. Strain the mixture and apply the vinegar directly to the skin twice daily for several weeks.
Sore throat, Cough and Bronchitis: For bronchitis, cut thin slices of horseradish and string them on a thread, tie them around your neck like a necklace and wear overnight. For a cough and sore throat you can make a horseradish syrup. Grate a small piece of horseradish into a small saucepan and squeeze the pulp over a pan. Add honey and enough water to cover the pulp allowing it to boil for 5 minutes. Once the pulp has cooled, squeeze the pulp again to get as much juice as possible then throw away the pulp. Take a maximum of 5 tbsps of syrup a day.
Wounds – You can make a tincture for wounds using horseradish that will disinfect them and prevent scarring. Steep 3 tbsps of grated horseradish in 1 cup of 100 proof alcohol for 30 minutes. Remove the pulp using a slotted spoon and place it on a cotton cloth and squeeze to extract the juices. Combine the alcohol and juice and discard the pulp. Combine the mixture with 1 cup of water. Soak a cloth or cotton ball in the tincture and apply to the wound daily.
Flu, Kidney and Urinary Tract Infections – You can make a tea out of horseradish by pouring boiling water over 1 tsp of grated horseradish. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes, strain and drink about 3 cups a day. The potent diuretic that is horseradish can promote perspiration making it excellent for sweating when having a fever. Cut a small piece of horseradish into thin slices and place them in a glass of white wine, allow it to sit overnight, then drink the mixture the next day on an empty stomach, it is known to flush out infection in kidneys.
Digestion and anti-aging – Eating horseradish can strengthen blood vessels, improve blood flow and regulate blood pressure.
Horseradish is an excellent source of vitamin C. When horseradish is cut or grated, water and enzymes combine and form mustard oil which gives horseradish its distinct spicy taste and germicidal, cancer fighting properties.