Radish health benefits were well known in the Mediterranean, where they’re highly appreciated as a salad seasoning. In some places, not only their roots are consumed, but also their leaves, which have a pleasant, spicy flavor. The black radish (Raphanus sativus L., var. nigra) is a variety of the common Radish with a dark-colored root. This variety is usually employed in phytotherapy.
Radish Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name: Raphanus sativus L.
- French: Radis.
- Spanish: Rábano.
- Environment: Native to central Asia, it is cultivated in all warm regions worldwide.
- Description: Herbaceous plant of the Cruciferae family, divided leaves and white flowers with pink or violet strips. The root is a white, red, or blackish tuber.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The fresh root.
Radish Health Benefits
The Radish contains a sulfured glycoside (glucoraphanin) which, employing enzymatic hydrolysis, becomes raphanol, a substance to which the choleretic, cholagogue, antibiotic, and pectoral properties of the Radish are owed. It also contains mineral salts and vitamins B and C. Its applications are as follows:
- Hepatic and biliary afflictions: The Radish increases bile production in the liver (cholagogue properties), thus reducing its congestion and detoxifying it. It also improves gall bladder function by promoting the correct evacuation of bile into the duodenum. Hence, Radish is recommended for acute or chronic hepatitis, fatty liver, cirrhosis, hepatic intoxication caused by medicines, chemical products, mushrooms, and biliary dyspepsia. It can help regenerate the liver from alcoholic hepatitis and fatty degeneration caused by alcohol or other toxic substances.
- Respiratory afflictions: Having mucolytic (expels mucus), expectorant, and antibiotic properties, radishes are highly recommended for bronchial catarrh, bronchitis, and laryngitis, especially in sinusitis. It is also a valuable auxiliary remedy to treat tobacco addiction.
- Appetizer and Diuretic.
How to use Radish
- Raw, in salads, radishes are healthy and healing seasonings.
- Fresh juice of the tuber. The recommended intake is from 50 to 125 ml, three times a day, before meals, sweetened with honey or brown sugar.
Wild Radish (Raphanus rapanistrum L.) is the species from which the cultivated radishes we consume as vegetables come. Its medicinal properties resemble the common Radish (Raphanus sativus L.). Its seeds contain an alkaloid called sinalbine, which becomes mustard essence through the accompanying enzyme.
Horse-radish (Armoracia rusticana Gaertn. = Cochlearia armoracia L.) is similar to mustard in its composition and applications. Horse-radish has acquired a degree of noblesse since professors Enamorado, and López Garcés of the Polytechnic University of Madrid have obtained an extract from it. The extract, known as DGP (diphenilglioxal peroxide), has caused notable improvements when administered to people with multiple sclerosis. Its possible anticancerous action is currently being researched.
Radishes are suitable for the liver since they reduce its congestion and toxicity. When consumed either raw or as juice, radishes are recommended for hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver degeneration caused by alcohol consumption, and hepatic intoxication caused by medicines or chemical products.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 393, 394. Print. [radish health benefits]