Friday, March 27, 2009

The Natural Healing Properties of Horseradish

Horseradish was originally cultivated mainly as a medicinal herb; today it is considered a flavouring herb. A natural healing property of horseradish is that this herb inhibits the growth of or kills bacteria. This herbs culinary use was developed in the late sixteenth century by the Germans and Danes in a fish sauce, and around 1640 the use of this herb spread as far as Britain where they used horseradish sauce that has since become strongly associated with roast beef.

Horseradish is well known for its sharp pungency and can clear your sinuses with just one breath. The way in which they arrive at this strong volatile flavour is through the oil that is released once you grate the root of the plant; the oil actually evaporates quite quickly so therefore it is not very successful in cooked dishes.

The best natural healing property of horseradish is the great benefits it has for curing sinus congestion and head colds. The root of horseradish is very rich in minerals, which include silica and vitamin C. Horseradish has warming antiseptic properties that makes this herb beneficial for asthma, catarrh, and lung infections; it is also a great digestive aid and can be especially useful when eating heavy meals.

A couple of natural healing remedies for horseradish are:

• To clear out congestion, get a fresh piece of horseradish, grate it and eat a small amount or you can buy horseradish in a jar and eat half a tablespoon. Make sure you try these after a meal so that you don’t get an upset stomach
• To clear your cavities, inhale a freshly grated horseradish. The pungency of the root contains the fiery substance that will help to thin the mucus.

Avoid horseradish if you have gastric ulcers, thyroid conditions or a kidney disorder. Children under the age of four should not be given horseradish. Do not use horseradish externally as it may burn sensitive skin. Make sure you never get horseradish in contact with your eyes.

Some additional natural healing properties of the horseradish root is by taking the syrup for bronchitis and coughs; by grating the herb into a poultice and applying it to chilblains, stiff muscles, sciatica and rheumatism. Finally, the root of horseradish can be used for cosmetic purposes; just slice and infuse it in milk to get a lotion that will improve your skin’s clarity; and by expressing the juice and mixing it with white vinegar can be used to lighten freckles.

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