Horseradish: Herbal Remedies

Horseradish Preparations and Warnings

Like all herbs, there are some precautions you should take before using horseradish medicinally.

Preparations and Dosage of Horseradish

Horseradish root keeps for several months in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator. (Fresh root is superior as a medicine, but commercially prepared horseradish will do in a pinch.) Grate the horseradish in a food processor or blender. (You can use a grater, but you may not be able to see what you're grating through your tears.) Add honey or sugar and vinegar to taste (about 2 tablespoons honey or sugar and 1 tablespoon vinegar per cup of horseradish). If you can tolerate its flavor, spread 1/4 teaspoon of prepared horseradish on a cracker and eat it. Or stir the horseradish in a sip of warm water with a little honey. You can make a horseradish poultice to treat a wound, or soak a cloth in horseradish tea and apply the cloth to the wound. Discontinue if the skin reddens or causes irritation or a rash. Side Effects of HorseradishPain in the head, especially behind the root of the nose, is a common but brief side effect. Large, repetitive doses of horseradish may cause stomach upset and even vomiting in some people. Rashes and inflammation may follow topical use. If you experience gastrointestinal distress after eating other sulfur-containing cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage or broccoli, you may not want to use horseradish. You may experience an upset stomach from even a single small amount.

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Jennifer Brett, N.D. is director of the Acupuncture Institute for the University of Bridgeport, where she also serves on the faculty for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. A recognized leader in her field with an extensive background in treating a wide variety of disorders utilizing nutritional and botanical remedies, Dr. Brett has appeared on WABC TV (NYC) and on Good Morning America to discuss utilizing herbs for health.This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.