Whether it’s in an herbal preparation or your favorite dish, horseradish (Cochlearia armoracia) is a natural antibiotic which clears sinuses, increases facial circulation, and promotes expulsion of mucus from upper respiratory passages. It has been used as a medicine for millennia.
Horseradish is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family (which also includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbage). Due to the scarcity of the wasabi, few people may realize when they dine in sushi restaurants that they are usually eating dyed horseradish made to look like wasabi.
Compounds found in horseradish have been widely studied for a plethora of health benefits. Horseradish contains volatile oils, notably mustard oil, which has antibacterial properties due to the presence of allyl isothiocyanate, an organosulfur compound. Fresh, the plant also contains average 79.31Â mg of vitamin C per 100g of raw horseradish. Also, it contains high levels of calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, glutamine, glucose, acid sulfate and essential oils.
Health-supportive molecules like glucosinolates are concentrated in these horseradish greens in the same way that they are concentrated in the leaves of the plants. Even within individual prostate cells, glucosinolates beneficially influence the metabolism of hormones, which may explain why a higher consumption of mustard family vegetables is associated with a lower risk for prostate cancer.
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.
The enzyme horseradish peroxidase (HRP), found in the plant, is also used extensively in molecular biology and biochemistry.
Blasts Infections Better Than Pharmaceuticals
Horseradish is helpful for sinus infections because it encourages your body to get rid of mucus. One way a sinus infection starts is with the accumulation of thick mucus in the sinuses, which lays out the welcome mat for bacteria: Stagnant mucus is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to multiply and cause a painful infection. Horseradish can help thin and move out older, thicker mucous accumulations; thin, watery mucus is easier to eliminate.
If you are prone to developing sinus infections, try taking horseradish the minute you feel a cold coming on to prevent mucus from accumulating in your sinus cavities. Herbalists also recommend horseradish for common colds, influenza, and lung congestion. Incidentally, don’t view the increase of mucus production after horseradish therapy as a sign your cold is worsening. The free-flowing mucus is a positive sign that your body is ridding itself of wastes, so bear with it for a day or two.
Horseradish has a mild natural antibiotic effect, and it stimulates urine production. Thus, it has been used to treat urinary infections. If you experience chronic urinary, sinus, or other infections, you should know horseradish is considered safe for long-term use. Occasionally, horseradish is used topically to alleviate the pain of arthritis and nerve irritation. Horseradish also has been used as a poultice to treat infected wounds.
The reason horseradish is far superior to pharmaceuticals in clearing sinus problems is not only attributed to its natural antibiotic effects, but also the very poor performance of pharmaceuticals in this area. In fact, over-the-counter, prescribed decongestants and mucolytics only suppress the symptoms for very short-term periods and aggravate the underlying causes. Not only do sinus problems continue to reoccur under the influence of medication, but the body does not initiate healing due to the form of chemical suppression which creates a vicious cycle of dependency with sinus conditions.
In fact, when pharmaceuticals are put up against horseradish in treating sinus conditions, patients report less recurrence of symptoms and recovery up to 40% faster than those on pharmaceuticals for the same condition.
Approximately 10-15 drops of horseradish juice can have a dramatic improvement on digestive processes by stimulating the secretion of gastric and intestinal juices. It will assist in the health of the digestive lining and help in restoring the intestinal bacteria to balanced levels with competing bacteria.
Horseradish has been used for centuries to treat lung inflammation, coughing, gout and even scurvy. If you are predisposed to sinus blockages and infections in any season, you should be having horseradish daily.
Horseradish contains more than 10-fold higher glucosinolates than broccoli, so you do not need much horseradish to benefit. In fact, a little dab will go a long way to providing important health benefits.
2 medium Avocado mashed
4 tablespoons Fresh grated Horseradish (peel before grating)
1 pinch Sea salt to taste
1 medium Lime
1 pinch Cayenne to taste
Combine all ingredients, mash-up well, chill for 10 minutes and serve!
10 grams fresh horseradish
5 grams fresh ginger
200ml boiling water
Place the horseradish and ginger in a tea sieve or in a cup and pour the boiling water on top of the horseradish. Let it sit for a minimum of 20 min. Divide it into three doses, and drink it three times a day, heated to a temperature of about 40 degrees C.
1 large horseradish root (6 inches)
1 Tbsp raw honey
Grate the horseradish and add the lemon juice and honey into a jar. Seal the jar tightly with a lid for 24 hours. Take 1 tbsp of the mixture 3-4 times per day on an empty stomach.
Do not dilute any of these recipes with water if you feel burning in your throat or sinuses. That means it’s working.
John Summerly is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. He is a leader in the natural health community and consults athletes, executives and most of all parents of children on the benefits of complementary therapies for health and prevention.