Posted by admin | Posted in Horseradish | Posted on 30-05-2016

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Horseradish…..aahhhhhh……the aroma…..and the taste

Horseradish isn’t just a condiment

 Armoracia rusticana (previously Cochlearia armoracea and Armoracia lapathifolia)

Family: Cruciferae

Names: Great Raifort, Horse Plant, Mountain Radish, Red cole; Cranson de Bretagne, Cran, moutarde des Allemands, raifort (French); Kren, Meerrettish, Meerrettich (German); rafano, barbaforte, cren (Italian); taramago, rábano picante, rábano rusticano, cochlearia (Spanish); Peberrod (Danish); Mierikswortel, Mierik, Boereradijs, Meredik, Kreno (Dutch); Aed-mädaroigas, Mädaroigas (Estonian); Piparjuuri (Finnish); Meacan-each (Gaelic); Torma, Közönséges torma (Hungarian); Piparrót (Icelandic); Pepperrot (Norwegian); Chrzan pospolity, Chrzan zwyczajny (Polish); Raiz-forte, armorácio (Portuguese); Hrean (Romanian); Khrjen, khren (Russian); Mronge (Swahili); Pepparrot, skörbjuggsört (Swedish); lagen (Chinese); seijô wasabi (Japanese); fujl har (Arabic)

Description: Native of the muddy swamplands of southern Europe and western Asia and was introduced to the rest of Europe in the 13th century.  Brought over to North America and has since become naturalized.  A perennial hardy  to –20F.  Strap-like leaves 1-2 feet long with 2- to 3-foot spikes of tiny white edible flowers. It is a cylindrical white root with a yellowish brown skin, on average about 1 ft long and ¾ in diameter.  It is slightly gnarled or ringed, often with small fibrous roots growing from the main root, especially in semi-wild horseradish.  In cultivated varieties the root is unbranched and fairly straight.  The best fresh roots are thick and well grown; thin and insubstantial roots, apart from being hard to use, are inferior in pungency.  Growth can be invasive.  It is a member of the same family as mustard and cress and is rich in sulfur.  When intact, the root has little aroma.  On being scraped or broken, it exudes a penetrating smell, similar to watercress, and is apt to irritate the nostrils, making the eyes water even more than onions do.

Cultivation: Full sun.  Keep evenly moist and fertilize regularly.  Start from transplants or division. Space 10-15 inches in loose rich soil at least 18 inches deep with a pH of 6-8.    Grow alone in a 14- to 16- inch container.  Overwinter outdoors in a protected location.  Use young leaves or flowers when available.  Harvest roots in late fall when 1-2 years old.  Scrub and dry and can be packed in dry sand set in a cool, dark place.  The ideal method for home use is to dig up a root when needed, storing it for no more than a week in the refrigerator.  Or you can dig up a large number of roots at once and freeze them or grate them and cover with vinegar.  To freeze, scrub, then lightly scrape away the outer skin, cut in half, and remove the center core.  Wrap thoroughly and freeze, using within 6 months.  To preserve, prepare as for freezing, but then mince in a food processor.  Pack the grated horseradish tightly in 1 cup jars, then cover with vinegar.  Cap the jars and refrigerate for up to 6 months.

Horseradish aids fruit trees in the orchard and helps prevent brown rot on apple trees.  In the vegetable garden, if kept restricted to the corners of the potato bed, it will assist potatoes to be more healthy and resistant to disease.  Every two years it is advisable to pull the whole plant out, keeping the long main roots for replanting.  Smooth-leaved cultivars such as “Sass’ have produced an average of 4.81 tons of fresh root per acre.

History: The ancient name of Britain was Armorica, from which the generic name of this species is derived; the specific name underlines that the plant was grown mainly in the country.  Another thought is that the name is an apparent corruption of the German “meerrettich” (sea radish).  “Meer” is derived from mahre (an old mare), referring to the tough roots.  Horseradish has been known and valued by various groups of the peoples through the ages.  It is thought to have originated in Eastern Europe and has become part of the diet of many people. It was a favorite condiment with vinegar among the country folk in rustic Germany. Its reputation spread to England and France, where it became known as moutarde des Allemands. The French still eat horseradish, slicing the whole root at the table and salting it.  It is one of the herbs used by the Jewish people at the time of the Passover.  During the Middle Ages it was known as ‘scurvy grass’.

The plant has been known in cultivation for about two thousand years.  Henry J. Heinz is believed to have been the first to develop a commercial horseradish product in 1944.

Chemical Constituents: Contains the glucoside sinigrin and the enzyme myrosin, which react with water to form a volatile oil containing allyl-isothiocyanate and two other isothiocyanates (phenylethyl isothiocyanate).  The root also contains a bitter resin, sugar, starch, gum, albumin and acetates.  Also present in raw horseradish are protein 3%, fat 0.3%, carbohydrate 20%, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, other sulphurous compounds and vitamins B C.  There are 87 calories per 100g.

Properties:  stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic, rubefacient, antibiotic, carminative, expectorant, laxative (mild), and antiseptic.

Medicinal Uses:  Horseradish has long been known as a stimulant for many parts of the circulatory system, while having antiseptic qualities too.  When taken with rich food it assists digestion and when a little horseradish is taken regularly it will build up resistance to coughs and colds.  In dropsy, it benefits the system by correcting imbalances in the digestive organs.  In a more concentrated form, it is able to reduce catarrhal and bronchial complaints.  Horseradish taken inwardly also relieves sinus pain and is said to help reduce blood pressure.  As a poultice it’s used for rheumatism, chest complaints and circulation problems.  Infused in wine it becomes a general stimulant and causes perspiration.  It is believed to be a good vermifuge for children.  It is richer in vitamin C than orange or lemon.  The volatiles in horseradish have been shown to be antimicrobial against some organisms.  Horseradish derivatives may be useful to replace current microbial treatments that remove toxic pollutants from water and make them insoluble.  Syrup of horseradish is made by steeping a tablespoon of grated horseradish root in a cup of boiling water and covering it for two hours.  The horseradish is then strained out and either sugar or honey is added.  Heat until a thick syrupy consistency is achieved.  Bottle for use.  A peroxidase enzyme extracted from the root has novel commercial applications as an oxidizer in chemical tests to evaluate blood glucose, and a molecular probe in studies on rheumatoid arthritis.

Energetics: spicy, hot

Meridians/Organs affected: lungs, colon kidney

Typical Daily usage: Fresh root: 1-2 tablespoon; dried root 1.5-3 gm; extract 2gm dried root, 10 ml alcohol, 10 ml water

For rheumatism take 3-4 Tbsp of horseradish daily with apple cider vinegar and honey

For colitis caused by putrefaction, take 15-20 drops of horseradish juice between meals

To decongest the sinuses chew one teaspoon of grated horseradish root that has been mixed with a Tbsp of apple cider vinegar until all the flavor is gone.

For asthma: add several tablespoons of freshly grated horseradish to 1 cup milk.  Simmer for 10 minutes and strain.  Drink as necessary to obtain relief

Arthritis liniment: Put 1 cup each of melted paraffin and grated horseradish in the blender.  Blend until liquefied. Rub the affected joint with the mixture and wrap loosely with a flannel cloth.  Leave on overnight. Rinse off the next morning.  Repeat until swelling is gone.  The horseradish liniment should be stored in a tightly closed container at room temperature.

Horseradish-Honey-Garlic Tea

1 1-inch piece fresh horseradish, peeled and grated (1/4  cup)
¼ cup honey
2 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and coarsely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
Put 4 cups water on to boil.  In a blender, combine the horseradish, honey, garlic and 2 Tbsp water. Process until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the blender.  Scrape the puree into a bowl, and pour in the boiling water.  Let it steep for 5 minutes.  Strain into a teapot, and stir in the lemon juice.  Drink hot, inhaling the steam deeply.  (Tonics)

Toxicity: Use medicinally with care, as the roots may cause internal inflammation, affect the thyroid gland or, used externally, produce blisters.  Also contraindication with inflammation of the gastric mucosa and with kidney disorders; not to be used by children under 4 years old.  These concerns are based upon therapeutic use and may not be relevant to its consumption as a spice.


EXTRACTION: Essential oil by water and steam distillation from broken roots that have been soaked in water

CHARACTERISTICS: A colorless or pale yellow mobile liquid with a sharp, potent odor and having a tear-producing effect

USES: used mainly in minute amounts in seasonings, ready-made salads, condiments and canned products

Cosmetic Uses: Some herbalists use horseradish root in conjunction with other herbs to relieve eczema.  It is also used with yoghurt or milk to be dabbed on the skin to fade freckles.  For an effective skin refresher, infuse some of the sliced root in milk and pat the milk on the skin.

Steep 1 tsp grated horseradish in juice of 2 lemons and allow it to infuse for 48 hours, in a warm room.  Bottle, and apply to the freckles, using a cotton ball.

Lift and clean the roots, then slice them into a saucepan and to every 1 lb add .5 litre of milk and simmer for an hour over a low flame.  Strain and bottle and apply as a lotion to the face and forehead.  Keep any surplus in the refrigerator.  Clears the skin of blackheads and pimples.

Ritual Uses:  Gender: Masculine.  Planet: Mars.  Element: Fire.  Horseradish should be sprinkled around the house, in corners, on the steps outside, and on doorsills.  This will make all evil powers clear out, and will diffuse any spells that may have been set against you.

Grate or grind dried horseradish root.  Sprinkle over thresholds, corners, and any vulnerable areas to expel evil.   Hex Reversal: Grate or grind dried horseradish root.  Sprinkle it over your thresholds, corners, windows, and any areas perceived as vulnerable, to reverse any malevolent magic cast against a building’s inhabitants.

Culinary Uses:  Horseradish has an acrid quality reminiscent of mustard and counterpoints fresh and smoked fish, tongue, sausages, chicken, eggs, asparagus, avocado, beets, carrots, potatoes, turnips and coleslaw.  Freshly grated root is mixed with vinegar, mayonnaise, cream sour cream, butter or yogurt to serve with foods.  It has a particular affinity with apple, beetroot and dill. Cooking destroys the pungency, as does sitting around in a refrigerator after grating unless covered with vinegar.  The young tender leaves can be added to mixed green salads, and the root is a rich source of vitamin C and has antibiotic qualities.  Dried horseradish root in the form of small grains or flakes is now available.  These swell and reconstitute in liquid, giving a good texture.  Powdered horseradish root is not recommended as it is weaker in flavor and has no texture.

 To make a basic horseradish cream sauce: combine 1 cup sour cream with ¼ cup fresh or preserved grated horseradish and season with salt and pepper. Adding 2 Tbsp minced fresh chives, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard and ½ cup whipped cream (or low-fat plain yogurt).


Bacon Horseradish Dip
3 8-oz packages cream cheese at room
temperature and cut into small pieces
12 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 scallion (spring onion), green and white parts, chopped
1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
3 Tbs prepared horseradish
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
12 slices bacon fried crisp, drained, and crumbled
Combine all the ingredients except the bacon in a slow cooker or oven-proof covered baking dish.  Cook covered on high heat or in a preheated 300F oven for 2 to 2½  hours, stirring once halfway through cooking.  Stir in the bacon and serve with thinly sliced French bread, corn chips, pita wedges, or crackers.  Serves 16 to 20.

Fresh Apple and Horseradish Sauce
1 sharp green dessert apple
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ pint chilled cream, whipping or heavy
1 ½ Tbsp freshly grated horseradish
Quarter and core the apple and grate it, without peeling it.  Sprinkle it with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.  Whip the cram to soft peaks and slightly stir in the grated apple and horseradish. Serve immediately.  (The Hot and Spicy Cookbook)

Hot Beetroot with Horseradish Cream
1 lb small beetroot
1 tsp vinegar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
salt and freshly milled pepper
1-2 Tbsp freshly grated horseradish
2/3 cup soured cream
¼ tsp finely grated zest of lemon
squeeze of lemon juice
1 Tbsp finely chopped chives or parsley
Wash the beetroot under cold running water, taking care not to scratch the skin; leave the roots intact. Cover with cold water, add the vinegar and bring to the boil.  Place the lid on the pan and cook gently on the top of the stove, or in an over preheated to 350F for 30-40 minutes or until tender.  Remove from the heat, drain and peel. Transfer the beetroot to a hot serving dish and pour over the melted butter.  Season with salt and pepper and keep hot.  Mix the horseradish with the soured cream. Stir in the zest of lemon and add lemon juice to taste.  Spoon over the beetroot and sprinkle the chives or parsley on top.  (The Gourmet Garden)

Horseradish and Sesame Dip
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup toasted sesame seeds, ground
1Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 Tbsp finely chopped chives
1 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp brewer’s yeast flakes
1 Tbsp plain yoghurt
finely grated horseradish, to taste
Mix all the ingredients together, adjusting quantities to taste. Serve with crackers or vegetable sticks.   (Complete Book of Herbs)

Shrimp with Lovage and Horseradish Mustard Sauce
10 small sprigs fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh lovage leaves
1 scallion, cut into pieces
½ tsp fresh tarragon leaves
1 Tbsp tarragon vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp French-style mustard
1 heaping tsp horseradish
1/8 tsp lemon pepper or freshly ground black pepper
¾ lb shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
lettuce leaves
cucumber slices
Combine all the ingredients in a blender except shrimp, lettuce, and cucumbers, and process until well blended.  There should be about ½ cup of sauce.  Toss sauce with shrimp and put into a covered nonmetallic bowl to marinate overnight.  When ready to serve, arrange lettuce leaves and cucumber slices attractively on a serving platter, and spoon shrimp into center.  (The Herb & Spice Cookbook—A Seasoning Celebration)

Horseradish Jelly
¼ cup prepared horseradish
¼ cup vinegar
3 ½ cup sugar
3 oz pectin
Make an herbal infusion by mixing chopped herbs with ¼ cup sugar (4 Tbsp dried herbs may be used for 1 cup fresh). Place in a heavy 4 quart pan.  Stir in the required liquids and bring to a boil.  Simmer 8 minutes and bring to a rolling boil; stir in pectin; boil ½ minute, stirring constantly.  Add remaining sugar and bring to a full boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat and skim off foam.  Pour through a sieve into prepared jars and seal

Apple Pie With Horseradish and Cheddar Cheese
Makes one 9 in (23 cm) pie
5 medium-large tart apples
2 ½ Tbsp (32 ml) lemon juice
1/3 cup (75 ml) white sugar
1/3 cup (75 ml) brown sugar
40 ml (3 tbsp) unbleached flour
¼ tsp (1 ml) freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup (50 ml) freshly grated horseradish
2 9-inch (23-cm) pie crusts
Sharp cheddar cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 425º F (220° C). Peel the apples, core, and slice them into a bowl. As you slice them, add the lemon juice, a little at a time, to keep the apples from darkening. Add the sugars, flour, nutmeg, and horseradish, and toss well.  Roll the pie crusts out on a floured surface. Place the bottom crust in the pie plate, and evenly spread the apple mixture in it. Cover with the top crust, and crimp the edges decoratively. Prick the top crust with a fork in several places.  Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º C (180° F), and bake for about 45 minutes longer, or until the top is golden brown. Remove to a rack to cool. The pie is best served warm, not hot, or at room temperature. Serve with thin slices of cheddar cheese if desired.

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Companion Plants, 7247 No Coolville Ridge Rd., Athens, OH 45701; 740-592-4643;  plants

HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email:    URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers.  Copyright 2014.  All rights reserved.   Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented.


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