Page 22 - Forest Row Local November Edition
P. 22

 22 November 2021 • Forest Row Local
Each month Kirsten will be sharing information about seasonal medicinal plants. This month it’s all about...
Latin name
Medicinal/ edible parts
Where found
Armoracia rusticana
Armoraciae radix, wasabi-daikon
Brassicaceae, commonly known as the mustard or cabbage family
Horseradish is a perennial plant, growing to 1 meter high, with large, long wavy green leaves, small white four-petalled scented flowers in dense panicles, and long white fleshy roots. Horseradish prefers light moist soil and dappled shade or a sunny position.
The young leaves can be used like spinach, raw or cooked, but in small quantities because of their strong flavour.
The root is mainly used as a spice, a medicine, and a vegetable, raw or cooked. It has a hot mustard-like taste, which is mildened by cooking.
Horseradish is naturalised in the UK and grows wild in many places, mainly as a garden escape.
resin, and a compound called allyl isothiocyanate which is responsible for the distinctive pungent taste. It is released when the root or leaf is crushed (or chewed!) as a natural defense against herbivores. Allyl isothiocyanate is unstable and very heat sensitive, which is why horseradish quickly loses its pungency when stored or cooked. It can, however, be preserved in vinegar.
MEDICINAL USE: Antifungal, antibacterial, urinary antiseptic, pulmonary decongestant - horseradish
is a powerful healer of infection and congestion. New research also shows a promising effect on hyperthyroidism and for lowering blood cholesterol.
Its main therapeutic use is for catarrh, congestion and infection in the upper respiratory tract, and also for urinary tract infections, such as cystitis. Externally, as a poultice, for sinusitis, joint and muscle pain. A horseradish poultice is also an excellent remedy for period pain.
Warnings: Horseradish is a strong plant with a strong taste, and should not be used internally for children, during pregnancy or in case of gastrointestinal ulcers or kidney problems.
DOSE: For therapeutic use, eat 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon of fresh, grated horseradish root 3 times per day. Use fresh, as a relish or as a condiment. Best known
as horseradish sauce, which is grated horseradish in vinegar. Freshly grated horseradish mixed with whipped cream and apples is a delicious side dish. Choose organic or biodynamic whenever possible.
TIPS: Buy the fresh root and use within a few days, or store in dry sand, this prevents them drying out and losing their flavour. Grate as needed. To make a poultice, finely grate the fresh root, mix it with a portion of warm (but not hot) porridge and spread it on a thin cotton cloth and roll to a pack. Place the pack on the skin, feel the heat, and remove when it becomes a burning sensation.
By Kirsten Hartvig ND, MNIMH, DipPhyt, registered naturopath and medical herbalist. The Healing Garden, The Rachel Carson Centre, Emerson College Follow the garden on Instagram @healinggardenuk
                                    Despite the name, Horseradish is actually poisonous to horses! But it is beneficial to people and has been used as a spice, food, and medicine since ancient times. It has been cultivated for millennia, and is popular all over Europe, and North America, also in parts of Australia, Asia, the Middle East and around the world.
The wasabi we serve with sushi, is traditionally made from Japanese horseradish, Wasabia japonica, which is a close relative to horseradish, but with a distinct lime green root. It is much rarer and harder to grow, so most wasabi served outside Japan is made from horseradish. If you ever taste true wasabi, you will notice that it is much less pungent than horseradish. ACTIVE CONSTITUENTS: Vitamin C, volatile oils (with mustard oil), glycosides, coumarins, phenolic acids,
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