Horseradish

Horseradish

Armoracia rusticana

Horseradish is used for UTI's, a cough/cold and also nerve pain. It's spicy taste makes for a great culinary root.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Root
  • Side Effects:
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About Horseradish

Horseradish, fancily known in Latin as Armoracia rusticana, is a rugged, cold-hardy perennial plant that belongs to the cabbage family, Brassicaceae. The horseradish plant can grow up to a good height of 5 feet. It contains long, bright green-colored leaves and scented flowers with white petals.

The leaves of Horseradish are edible but they are not much popular in this regard. Historically, the leaves and roots of Horseradish were used in Middle Ages medicinally to treat cough, asthma, colic, gout, and sciatica. Topically, it was grated and dissolved in milk for clarification of skin and elimination of freckles.

Nowadays, Horseradish has become a versatile herb and is used in various veg and non-veg dishes. With frequent evaluations, Horseradish is medicinally hailed as a hero in treating Kidney stones, UTIs, internal parasitic infections, gallbladder disorders, rheumatism, bronchitis, and so forth. Horseradish is also a great immune booster and helps with proper digestion, blood pressure, sinus infections, and even cancer.

The famous pungent taste of Horseradish comes from crushing its flesh, which triggers the formation of allyl isothiocyante. The volatile oils and other active compounds of Horseradish make it one of the most famous and medicinally potent herbs in the world.

Growing

Horseradish flourishes when it receives full sun exposure but it can tolerate light shade too. Horseradish prefers well-drained, deep, moist soil.

Horseradish is planted through root divisions. The plant can be initiated outdoor when all the dangers of frost have surpassed (i.e. spring or fall) or it can be grown indoors, without worrying about frost. As compared to garden beds, soil in pots dries up pretty quickly so the gardener needs to keep a keen watch over the moisture level. The soil does not have to stay wet all the time but it should be moist upon touch.

Horseradish has an invasive nature which makes it more indoor friendly, as, for the outdoor frame, it can take up the whole garden even after its frequent digging.

Horseradish is an under-utilized hardy perennial that blooms in early summer, manifesting tiny white flowers that account for pollination and fertilization.

After the reproductive process, seed pods emerge that are either dispersed or collected by hand for the propagation of horseradish.

Harvesting

Horseradish roots are supposed to be harvested in fall as the recent winter of the season kills the leaves of the plant, making the roots fleshier. Other than fall, horseradish roots can also be harvested in early spring i.e. when the growth of the plant has not resumed.

Horseradish roots are craved by the gardeners and dug carefully to damages or bruises. The main root of the plant is harvested whereas the offshoots are employed in making divisions for re-plantations.

The root should be at least a year old as too young or too old roots do not impart the world-famous flavor and medicinal properties.

Horseradish roots begin to dry up pretty quickly after the harvest so it is better to use it within a week.
It is admonished to not wash the horseradish roots and store it in the refrigerator.

Usage

Horseradish is a global cure for various ailments and is enjoyed in different preparatory forms.

  • Tea - Grated or chopped horseradish root is steeped in hot boiling water for 30 minutes. Honey is poured to add some flavor.
  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped or grated horseradish in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Decoction - Chopped horseradish roots are simmered in water until the volume becomes half.
  • Salve - Grated horseradish roots are used for making a salve.
  • Infused oil - Blend the horseradish roots and olive oil together and refrigerate the mixture for 8 hours. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and allow the oil to drain into a container. The residue is discarded while the filtrate is reserved as horseradish oil.