Adams Herbs




(Armoracia rusticana)

Spicy decongestant and liver tonic

PARTS USED: Fresh hairy root

USED IN: Immmune Dragon Super Brew

NOTES: When I was a little kid and I got sick, my mom used to force me to eat a disturbing herbal blend of her own creation, which she called “hot stuff” and I called “child abuse.” Equal parts Horseradish, Cayenne pepper, and honey. I was encouraged to overlook the fact that my tongue felt like it was dissolving in a pool of burning lava, and instead focus on the idea that “hot stuff” would cure me.

I’m not sure if it ever did cure me of anything, but it sure did decongest the hell out of me. I now know that was the Horseradish.

Over time, Horseradish can be a fairly “deep” medicine, but on an acute, superficial level, it’s an quick, simple decongestant. Its aromatic vapors rise up like a veritable Roto-Rooter for your sinuses. You don’t need a double-blind trial to prove this to yourself. Just try some. And frankly, you don’t need some “herbal product,” either. Just grate a half-teaspoon of the fresh root, or use maybe a half-tablespoon of the prepared Horseradish from the fridge at your local market. The effects will become (painfully) obvious in about 10-15 seconds – and they’ll linger well after the spicy feeling fades from your taste buds.

Horseradish is more than just a decongestant. Like all radishes, Horseradish upregulates phase I and II hepatic detoxification. (The intensity of this effect generally correlates with how spicy the radish is. So here, Wasabi is king). Eruptive skin conditions (i.e. acne) should respond well to a week or two’s worth of horseradish.

Horseradish is an effective diuretic.

Horseradish is also a decent antibacterial. Most of the research involves a patented combination of Horseradish root and Nasturtium, which has been found effective against a number of pathogens in vitro, as well as in vivo versus urinary tract infections and bacterial bronchitis The combo is called “Anti-Infekt,” and is currently unavailable in the United States.

Topically, Horseradish preparation can be used to bring circulation to an area (much like mustard plasters), although I have no experience using it this way.

QUALITY ISSUES: The familiar pungent compounds, responsible for most of Horseradish’s medicinal activity, do not exist in the intact root. They’re created through a chemical reaction when the root is crushed or grated (like in Garlic), then dissipate quickly. Alcohol and vinegar will preserve most of the activity (keep the lid on the bottle). Heat and drying destroy these compounds.

SAFETY: Like anything spicy, Horseradish may irritate the GI tract mucosa. You’ll know it when you try it. Like anything that upregulates hepatic detox, Horseradish should be used cautiously in conjunction with any med that both A) has a narrow therapeutic range; and B) is cleared through the liver. And like any diuretic, Horseradish makes you pee more. So make sure to drink enough fluids, okay?

DOSING: ½-1 teaspoon of the freshly grated root, 3-5 times per day. As for prepared “condiment” horseradish, it depends on how fresh and unheated it is. I guess I’ll just say: whatever feels comfortable.



© 2009 Adam Herbs. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use common sense. Don't jump into a full therapeutic dose of anything the first day. Trust your experience more than someone's learned opinion. If you're dealing with something scary or serious, work with a professional. If the professional appears incompetent, find a better one.