Horseradish contains enzymes and mustard oil. Grating the horseradish root leads to the process, when these two elements under the influence of oxygen form allyl mustard oil. This allyl isothiocyanate is a strong natural antibiotic which has antibacterial properties and helps our organism to fight against mouth, nose and pharynx bacteria.
This plant is about 3000 years old, in that ancient times it was used as aphrodisiac and as a treatment for rheumatism. Some people believed that horseradish cured even tuberculosis. The word “horseradish” combines two words: “horse” – denotes large size and coarseness and “radish”, which comes from the Latin “radix” meaning root. Nowadays, approximately 6 million gallons of prepared horseradish are produced annually in the U.S.
Today this plant is used to cure:
- urinary tract infections;
- kidney stones;
- fluid retention;
- cough, bronchitis;
- achy joints (rheumatism);
- gallbladder disorders;
- sciatic nerve pain;
- intestinal worms in children.
It is also used externally, applying to the skin for painful and swollen joints or tissues and for minor muscle aches.
Speaking about side effects of horseradish, it’s worth saying that the root is safe in food amounts. But if you want to use it in medical amounts consult a doctor. The key element of horseradish – mustard oil, irritates the lining of the mouth, throat, nose, digestive system, and urinary tract. Horseradish can cause the following side effects:
- stomach upset;
- bloody vomiting;
- slowing down the activity of thethyroid gland.
In cooking, horseradish can be used fresh and grated, pickled in vinegar brine or as a main ingredient of a cocktail sauce.
This healthy, delicious and natural horseradish sauce can be added to a number of dishes, including sandwiches and salads. Horseradish sauce has a distinctive pungent taste. If you like it, we suggest you a simple horseradish recipe.
Cooking horseradish sauce will take 5 minutes of your time. But before starting cooking it, try the prepared horseradish, as it may be of different spiciness.
- 1/3 cup prepared horseradish (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- pinch of cayenne
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise and sour cream until combined. Then add the rest of the ingredients to taste, and stir to combine. Your sauce is ready! Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving and enjoy!