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Horseradish: It Packs a Punch! PDF  ICON_SEP Print ICON_SEP
Healthy Eating
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A recent study by the University of Illinois shows that horseradish contains substantial quantities of glucosinolates – compounds shown to increase human resistance to cancer. The power of this ‘humble hot shot’ root is created chemically when it is grated or agitated to release constituents that, when put together, produce magic! An effective daily dose of horseradish can be as little as 1 gram or less than a teaspoon.  At first glance, one would never suspect the bite of heat contained in this mild-looking root. But once the root is scraped or grated, a volatile oil called allyl is produced as its glucoside sinigrin comes into contact with its enzyme myrosin. According to renowned herbalist Maude Grieves, it is only when these two substances meet that isothiocyanate, also contained in black mustard seed, is created: this accounts for the pungent, hot, yet subtly sweet taste of horseradish. Horseradish contains antibacterial, antibiotic, anti-parasitic, anti-anemic, and aperient properties. It is also a coronary vasodilator, a digestive, a diuretic, and an expectorant,  which means that it stimulates a number of body systems and can be used to aid mild circulatory problems, digestion, and water retention. I’ve used it to help to encourage timid appetites – a potent digestive elixir can be created by combining a small amount of horseradish with carminative herbs and apple cider vinegar.