Armoracia rusticana (also known as Cholearia armoracia)         Brassicaceae


Common name: Horseradish


Parts used: leaves and root


Botany: Horseradish is a perennial monocot with a deep tap root. Elliptical ovate leaves radiate from taproot and are generally 2 to 2 ½ ft long and have entire, lobed or sinuate edges with a rugose surface. The plant can spread to 2 ½ to 3 ft wide. The blooms are four petal white flowers that produce round fruits that hold four seeds each. Horseradish spreads from offshoots of the taproot and can easily invade garden space if the whole root and parts are not dug up.  

Harvesting: Roots are harvested in late fall and leaves can be picked in spring when young for eating.


Constituents: Horseradish is rich in Vitamin C and B1 and contains the minerals iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium. It contains glucosinolates (primarily singrin) which degrades to allyl isothiocyanate and the volatile oil aglycane which is similar to that in Black mustard seed. The Myrosinase present combines with the glucosinate Singrin to produce the odour horsradish has when scraped or bruised. Allyl sulfide, phytoncide, peroxidase, sulphur.

Actions: Powerful stimulant has revulsive and rubefacient properties. Anti-scorbutic especially due to Vitamin C. Antiseptic and antimicrobial against some bacterias such as Salmonella typhimurium and Staphylococcus aureus. Has anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties. It is a diuretic a cardiotonic and expectorant.

Therapeutics: Horseradish contains isoenzymes one of which has a cardiotonic effect and has been recommended to help treat high blood pressure. It is known to help normalize arterial blood pressure as well and benefit peripheral blood flow which helps reduce the risk of thrombosis and lower risk of blood clots. It is an expectorant and has mildly antibiotic properties which have been used to help treat respiratory and urinary tract infection. Traditionally it has been used in some Russian cultures to stimulate appetite. The herb is considered to be a garden essential and used for vaso-restrictive headaches, in poultices for waterlogged or consistently cold feet, to help the heart move blood, expel poisons through urination and rid the skin of bacteria such as thrush, and removing intestinal worms among many other things. In a poultice it has been used for gout and inflammation in the joints such as caused by seasonal scar tissue swelling.


Pharmacy: tincture 1:5 grated root 60%-70% alcohol. Fresh root 1-2 tbsp before meals to stimulate appetite. A poultice of fresh grated root spread on linen or light cloth can be applied to the skin with care to notice burning that can indicate a rash if applied too long. I noticed that the local Doukhabour people could handle more of the horseradish than myself and I experienced emisis and edema when consuming the same amount that had no effect on them. To me, this means that starting at a small dose of 2-4grams of fresh root or equivalent tincture per use to see how it is tolerated, eventually upping the dose to a possible 20 grams or more a day.


Contraindications: Lactating or pregnant women should only use under the guidance of a medical professional. Use caution with stomach ulcers. Can burn and blister skin.

(Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine pg 171-172) ( (Natural Options to Health by Beck) (Study on herbal actions of Horseradish- Journal of Agroalimentary Processes and Technologies ( (