Horseradish is a perennial plant that can reach 40-120cm (sometimes even 150cm) in height during flowering. Horseradish has a thick rosette of rhizome leaves. It has a strong, thick, fleshy, whitish, branched rhizome, which is on average 1-5 cm in diameter and often more than 100 cm in length. Root leaves are on long stems, large, 30-60 cm long, elongated; lower stem leaves on short stems, upper ones - sessile, elongated. The flowers are arranged in clusters. The flower consists of four white petals. Fruits - elongated, elliptical seeds (4-6mm long). The plant blooms in June and July. The fruits ripen in August and September. Reproduces mainly vegetatively, producing few seeds, sometimes none at all.
Horseradish root (which has reached a diameter of at least 1.5 cm) is mainly used for medicinal purposes. It starts to be dug in the second year of life. Harvest is usually done in late autumn after the leaves have died or in early spring before the new leaves appear. In the past, people had a simple principle - horseradish is dug in all months with the letter "R". The excavated rhizome is cleaned of sand and immediately divided - the usable part and material for the new seedlings. Store, like most root fruits, in boxes with earth, sand or peat, in a dark and cool place - usually in cellars. Material for seedlings can also be stored this way or planted immediately. The storage temperature is from 0C to +3C degrees.
Horseradish contains steroids: beta sitosterol, campesterin, flavonoids; in leaves and flowers - kaempferol, quercetin, 3-O-beta-D-glucosyl-beta-D- kaempferol xyloside, 3-O-beta-D-glucosyl-beta-D- quercetin xylosyl; in leaves- 3-O-kaempferol glycoside, 3-O-quercetin glycoside; in flowers- 3-O-beta-D- kaempferol glycoside, thioglycosides; in rhizomes, sinigrin, gluconasturcin, isothio- and thiocyanites; in the roots - allylthiocyanic and allylisothiocyanic acids, allylthiocyanate, as well as other nitrogen-containing compounds, mustard oil up to 0.2%.
Horseradish root extract has many valuable properties: anti-inflammatory, immunostimulating, antimicrobial. The juice of the rhizome has an antibacterial, enzymatic and antiabotic effect. Horseradish also acts as an appetite stimulant and enhances the secretion of the digestive tract.
In folk medicine, horseradish juice was used as an antibacterial agent to treat flu, angina - to rinse the mouth and throat, treat tonsillitis, toothache, pieces of it were placed in the ears to treat ear infections.
A mixture of fresh juice and water is effective in the treatment of anacid gastritis, dysentery, liver disease and giardiasis, as well as hypertensive disease and is used as an adjunct in the treatment of viral hepatitis.
By boiling horseradish root together with juniper berries in beer, you can get a remedy that can reduce swelling. In folk medicine, horseradish root is used to improve appetite, improve the functioning of the digestive tract, edema, kidney diseases, as well as bladder diseases. It is useful as an expectorant in case of inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. It can also be used in case of scurvy, physical and moral exhaustion, malaria. Horseradish root can be grated and applied in the form of rheumatism, gout and purulent wounds.
Horse-radish has also found its place in home cosmetics, as a whitening agent against freckles and pigmentation spots. Also, horseradish root grated together with apples will be an indispensable tool for restoring the youth of the skin.
When using horseradish root, in large quantities, inflammation of the side-kidneys and digestive tract can also be observed.
Care should also be taken when grating horseradish root - its roots can cause a strong cough, eye inflammation and increased lacrimation.
Horseradish is commonly used in mixtures with other herbs to treat prostatitis