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Offering the ability to clear blocked sinuses, pungent horseradish is more often considered as a condiment than as a medicine. This spicy herb loosens chest congestion, too, and promotes circulation. Horseradish is a useful diuretic that can help you release excess water weight and ease urinary tract infections.
Parts Used: Root
Precautions: Do not use horseradish if you have low thyroid function, or if you take thyroxine. Topically, overuse may cause blistered skin; discontinue if this occurs. Wildcraft carefully, avoiding areas that have been exposed to herbicides and pesticides.
Identifying/Growing: Horseradish has long, compact leaves with a strongly marked central vein. Small white flowers emerge from the stalk in summer. You can find horseradish growing wild in fields, along forest edges, around old homesteads, and in many other places. Just pick a leaf and smell it; if it carries the scent of prepared horseradish, then you know you’ve struck medicinal gold. Horseradish is very easy to grow in most climates. It’s a good idea to grow your horseradish in containers or select a site away from the rest of your garden plants, as this herb has a habit of taking over. The roots can be dug anytime after the leaves appear.