The Wonder of Horseradish

If it has an earthy, robust flavor with an oddly sweet heat that warms you to your core, it’s probably horseradish. A very small taste and the intensity will radiate all the way from your mouth to your sinuses. Many talk about clearing your sinuses, and boy will horseradish do it if you taste more than a little at a time.

The horseradish plant is a cold-hardy plant that can be called a spring, fall or winter crop. Horseradish is harvested by pulling out the roots, cutting off the tops and storing them in a cool place until needed. You can also heat, peel and grate for whatever dish or therapeutic use you might need.

A favorite use is prepared as a condiment into a sauce to eat on prime rib or roast beef sandwiches. We love using the prepared horseradish on pork chops or pork roast. I have a friend who like most people do ketchup, and never had any stomach problems. Me, not so lucky. Boy, will that burn the nose (but clear the sinus). It adds a definite kick of heat and flavor that will light up any dish or beverage. Horseradish was suggested as an aphrodisiac in both Egypt and Greece. It’s a metaphor for radishes with a kick, but of course, has nothing to do with either radishes or horses.

We can glean many health benefits from the consumption of horseradish as joint and muscle pain, cancer, dandruff, urinary infections, respiratory disorders, tonsillitis, chest congestion, headaches, sinus infections, water retention, cold and flu and detoxification.

Some of the most prominent minerals in horseradish are calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous along with fiber and vitamin C. Its natural antibacterial agents contain cancer-killing compounds, with multiple detoxifying chemical reactions. This root is effective against sinus infections, as it will help rid your body of mucus in the sinuses. To clear mucus from your nose and congestion from your chest a recommended recipe is to use an 8 to 12 inch long chunk of horseradish root, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Stir ingredients together in a glass jar that can be stored in the refrigerator 4 to 5 weeks. Eat ½ to 1 teaspoon two to three times a day for as long as it takes for your congestion to begin clearing up. Be careful breathing as you make this recipe, as the fumes are powerful.

An article on a dedicated site to disease prevention noted:

“One of the most powerful glycosides found in horseradish, sinigrin has been found to relive the symptoms of water retention, due to its stimulating effect on the blood capillaries. Horseradish is rubefacient, an agent that stimulates blood flow below and to the surface of the skin.”

Hippocrates was right when looking at all the compounds, nutrients and minerals in horseradish and other foods that can really impact your health, why not use food in lieu of medicine? One of “Father of medicine’s” famous proverbs says, “A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.”

Dr Fredda Branyon

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