Horseradish Medicinal Properties
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: [Name no provided]
Posted on: August 28, 1998

I’m inquiring about horseradish’s medicinal properties and if it has any side effects.

Horseradish is, of course, a very pungent culinary herb, useful as a condiment on meats, particularly roast beef. Its medicinal properties and uses are not as well known.

According to Deni Bown, author of "Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses" (available from Richters), horseradish is a stimulant herb that "controls bacterial infection and lowers fever by increasing perspiration" and it is diuretic, and increases circulation by acting as a local irritant.

It is used internally for "general debility," arthritis, gout, sciatica, respiratory and urinary infections. Externally, a poultice can be used for infected wounds, pleurisy, arthritis and pericarditis.

Side effects? Keeping in mind that one of its modes of actions is to irritate, taking too much can irritate too much. Excess amounts can cause vomiting, and it should not be taken by those suffering from stomach ulcers or thyroid problems. Taking large amounts can also provoke an allergic reaction.

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