Herb Profile: Horseradish (Armoracia lapathifolia, A. rusticana)
Horseradish is the root with a kick! It's bite comes from mustard oil, much like its cabbage family relatives: mustard greens, radish, and turnip. Somehow, though, horseradish is an experience all its own. Hot, yet with a cool aftertaste, it holds a special place in the Jewish seder tradition. It's also wildly popular in as a spice in Europe, Western Asia, and Scandinavia. It's a voracious perennial, and grows happily nearby compost for years after its planter is gone. You can even take a nub with the green sprout on top, or a thick piece of root, and plant that out to have all the horseradish you need in a couple of years.
Horseradish stimulates perky circulation, evident in the flushed cheeks of those who indulge! It also aids digestion, protects against bacterial infection, and enables drainage where there is a mucus blockage. It can help relieve sinus pressure in this way.
Use while fresh for the most pungent flavor, within a couple weeks. Store in the crisper drawer until ready for use.
Use raw and freshly grated, less the pungent flavor dissapate. Preserve this flavor well with acidic liquids like lemon juice, vinegar, or sour cream. It makes a wonderful sauce, dressing, or dip this way.
The Gift of Healing Herbs by Robin Rose Bennett
The Rodale Encyclopida of Herbs
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood
Our own experience!