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Originally, horseradish was cultivated chiefly as a medicinal herb. Now it is considered a flavouring herb. In the late sixteenth century, it's culinary use was developed by the Germans and the Danes in a fish sauce. Around 1640, this usage spread westwards to Britain, where horseradish sauce has since become strongly associated with roast beef. It's sharp pungency frequently has a dramatic effect and has been known to clear sinuses in one breath - the volatile flavouring oil is released by grating the root. The oil evaporates rapidly, so horseradish is not successful in cooked dishes.



  • Culinary
    • Leaf- add the young leaves to salads
    • Root- Make horseradish sauce to accompany roast beef, smoked or oily fish. Grate into coleslaw, dips, pickled beetroot, cream cheese, mayonnaise and avocado fillings.
  • Household
    • Whole plant - Grow near potatoes for more disease resistant tubers.
    • Root - Infuse, dilute four times and spray apple trees against brown rot.
    • Leaf - Chop finely into dog food to dispel worms and improve body tone. Boil for a deep yellow dye.
  • Cosmetic
    • Root - Slice and infuse with milk for a lotion to improve skin clarity. Express juice, mix with white vinegar and use to lighten freckles.
  • Medicinal
    • Root - Include grated root in diet to stimulate digestion, eliminate mucus and waste fluids. Take a syrup for bronchitis and coughs. Grate into a poultice and apply to chillblains, stiff muscles, sciatica, and rheumatism.


Avoid continuous large doses when pregnant or suffering from kidney problems.


  • Site

Open sunny position

  • Soil

Light, well dug, rich and moist soil preferrred

  • Propagating

Sow seed, divide roots or take root cuttings in spring. Choose roots half an inch thick. Cut into pieces 6 inches long and plant vertically at depth of 2 inches.

  • Growing

Thin or transplant to 12 inches apart. Do not grow indoors.

  • Harvesting

Dig up roots as needed or in autumn. Pick young leaves.

  • Preserving

Store roots in sand or wash, grate or slice and dry or immerse whole washed roots in white wine vinegar. Dry leaves.

See Also