Principal Proposed Uses:

The spicy root of the horseradish plant is a widely used condiment. Native to southeast Europe, it is currently widely cultivated in Germany. In Japan, it is called wasabi, and forms a ubiquitous part of sushi cuisine.Horseradish root also has a long history of medicinal use. Taken internally, it was thought to be effective for bladder infections as well as other bladder and kidney problems. (Horseradish oil once formed a part of a drug licensed in the US for treatment of bladder infection; however, contrary to statements made on some websites, this drug is no longer in use.) Horseradish was also taken internally as a treatment for respiratory infections and for joint pain. It was also applied externally in the form of a poultice to wounds, painful joints, and strained muscles.

What Is Horseradish Used for Today?

There are no scientific studies of horseradish that have attained even the minimum level of scientific reliability. Only double-blind, placebo-controlled studies can show a treatment effective, and no such studies of horseradish taken by itself have yet been reported. (For information on why such studies are essential, see Why Does This Database Rely on Double-Blind Studies? ) Germany’s Commission E has approved horseradish for supportive treatment of urinary tract infections as well as for treatment of respiratory infections such as acute bronchitis , colds , sore throat , and sinusitis ; however, this approval is more on the base of tradition than science. Test tube studies performed in the 1950s indicated that horseradish essential oil has antimicrobial properties. 1 However, it is a very long way from test tube studies to actual efficacy in people; virtually all essential oils have antimicrobial properties in the test tube, but none have gone on to show value as antibiotics. Constituents of horseradish essential oil include the substance families glucosinolate, gluconasturtiin, and sinigrin. These and similar substances are also found in the plant nasturtium. A preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2007 found some evidence that a standardized combination of nasturtium and horseradish might prevent new bladder infections among people with a history of recurrent bladder infections. 2 This study, however, suffered from numerous problems in design and statistical analysis. An even less reliable human trial found weak evidence that this combination could be helpful for children with sinusitis, bronchitis, or urinary tract infections. 3

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics: Health And Healing
Meet Our Health Experts
beginners heart

Beginner's Heart

Britton Gildersleeve
New! the gospel of tea

Mindfulness Matters

Arnie Kozak
New! Handling Rejection


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »