Radish is a plant, from the Brassica family, and although it’s probably most used in salads and for seasoning in cooking, the radish is also used as a powerful medicine in many cultures. Black radish is also known as Spanish Radish, among other names.
In Asia and India, the radish was (and still is) primarily used as a medicine. Because black radish is packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants, it is used in a variety of Ayurvedic remedies and treatments.
Black radish can be eaten, juiced, used as a topical application for skin and hair, and is now available in a capsule form. This might seem a little weird, but true; similar to our potato juice article.
Healing Uses of Black Radish
Used for eons in Europe and China primarily to stimulate digestive function, black radish is also used widely in India as a liver cleansing health tonic. Chinese practitioners use black radish to increase lung health.
An excellent source of vitamin C, and also contains potassium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, E, and B. The leaves of the plant have a detoxifying effect.
Kidney or Gallbladder Stones
Radish juice not only helps to eliminate formed stones, but actually helps prevent them. Radishes are rich in the nutrient potassium, which reduces urinary calcium in the body. Because black radish acts as a diuretic, the body is better able to flush out toxins by cleansing the kidneys and bladder, while at the same time, reducing the likelihood of the formation of kidney or gall stones.
The liver is responsible for filtering blood in our bodies, it detoxifies chemicals, metabolizes drugs, excretes bile and produces important proteins used by the body. The liver can be damaged or diseased in a number of ways: obesity, drinking, drugs, infection, cancer, etc.
This powerful root contains vitamins C and B1, and magnesium and calcium, which stimulate digestive juices and bile flow, helping to detoxify the liver. Jaundice patients have seen the benefits of black radish, as it helps to purge bilirubin from the liver. The radish root is also believed to fight bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.
Another healing property contained in black radish is raphanin, which helps maintain and regulate hormones produces by the thyroid gland. Raphanin also acts as an antibacterial and antiseptic agent.
Other Common Uses for Black Radish
- Regulation of Blood Pressure
- Eases symptoms of colds and Flu
- Prevents Constipation
- Relieves abdominal bloating
- Treats minor skin irritations and burns
- Boosts immune system
- Relieves dry scalp or dandruff
- Aids in weight loss
A Little Spicy Root
Black radish has a dull brown-almost black exterior and is larger than commonly seen spring (red radishes). It has a spicy and slightly bitter taste.
Black Radish Juicing
Most everyone has at least heard of the benefits of juicing-and black radish is an exceptional food to juice. Drinking black radish juices can be most beneficial during the winter, when cold season is at hand. The high concentrate of vitamin C helps fight infection and free radicals in the body.
Cooking and Seasoning with Black Radish
If you’ve only seen those little red radishes in dinner salads, you’re in for a surprise! There are number of ways to cook radishes, or to use them to spice up your menus.
- Braised – over a low heat in a covered pan
- Sautéed – with other veggies or alone
- Roasted – in the oven
- Steamed – for 15 minutes
- Boiled – until tender
Spice Up Your Salad with Radishes
As a matter of taste, radishes can pack a bite-they’re a little on the spicy side. Use this to your advantage the next time you make a salad.
You’ll only need a few ingredients for this Black Radish Salad:
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Dijon-style mustard
- 2 black radishes
- 1 small shallot
- extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt
For a quick salad combining sweet, sour, and tart, try this shredded salad. You’ll need:
- black radish
Where to Find Black Radish
Even with their growing popularity, it can be difficult to find black radish in your local grocery store. You might try a store that has health foods as a focus, or you might try your local farmer’s market. You could even grow your own! Seeds can be ordered from Amazon, and your plants will be ready for harvest within about 2 months. The best time to plant them is in the late summer.Image Source: flickr.com