Herbal Health Information on Horse Radish (Amoracia Rusticana)


You will see Horse radish growing wild all over the countryside.

When we were visiting our son in Maidenhead, at Easter, we took the dogs, ours and two daughters, for a walk across the road in Braywick nature reserve and saw lots of clumps of Horse radish growing around and about.

My Husband tells me it was his job as a boy to go and dig up the Horse radish root every Sunday, from the garden, to make the sauce for the Roast beef. I don’t think he can have had to do it that often as Horse radish root is gigantic and a little bit goes a long way.

Of course you all know about the condiment, but it is not just a condiment! There is method in the things humans eat together and meat with Horse radish is an excellent combination because meat, being a high protein food is difficult to digest and Horse radish root is a digestive stimulant, increasing the output of digestive enzymes to improve the breakdown of foods in the gut. This is true of most herbs and sauces we put with meats such as sage and thyme and parsley.

The other major benefit Horse radish has is to stimulate the circulation and therefore have a warming effect on the body.

Either You can use one teaspoon of the freshly grated root in a cup of boiling water to make a tea. Same directions as before:-

Steep for 5-10 minutes, strain, cool slightly, and sip slowly. It’s strong so one cup a day is enough.

Or you can make a vinegar by putting 1 oz of fresh grated root into a pint of cider vinegar and leaving this to stand for about 3 weeks and then taking a teaspoon in water three times a day. This is really the home equivalent of a tincture which can be stored easily.

NEVER take any medicine for any length of time. If symptoms persist then you will need help from a professional. Also I would like you to be aware that Horse radish is very strong so must be used in small amounts.  It also has anti thyroid properties so that if you suffer from under active thyroid you should not use Horse radish at all. Actually this also applies to all plants from the “mustard” family, such as cabbage, radish and mustard itself. It sounds all doom and gloom but it isn’t. If you are not knowledgeable enough to use a particular plant then there is nothing stopping you looking at it on your walks and learning about its actions.


Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information