How To Use Horseradish For Sinus Infections, UTI, Cold, Flu And Bronchitis
Horseradish (Cochlearia armoracia) is a medicinal plant that has been well known to our parents and grandparents. It temporarily sank into oblivion and got replaced by numerous pharmaceuticals, but it’s again making its revival as a powerful herbal medicine.
Empirical research has now proved what our ancestors intuitively already knew. When treating certain conditions, horseradish is just as effective as chemically-synthesized antibiotics and it can sometimes even be superior to over-the-counter drugs. Horseradish is particularly potent in the treatment of sinusitis and it clears upper respiratory passages, which helps with cold, influenza and lung congestion. It is also an effective urinary tract infection healer. When used as a natural drug, it comes without any side effects. At the same time, it provides us with some distinct culinary enjoyment.
What makes horseradish so powerful?
Horseradish is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbage. Vegetables from the mustard family are concentrated with glucosinolates that influence the metabolism of hormones and act in an anti-cancer way. Consumption of these vegetables has also been shown to lower the risk for prostate cancer.
Horseradish contains mustard oil and the presence of allyl isothiocyanate gives it the antibacterial punch. Horseradish is also a powerhouse of vitamin C – raw, it contains 79.31 mg of vitamin C per 100g. It is high in many essential minerals and other health-promoting substances, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, glutamine, glucose, acid sulfate and essential oils.
Singrin, a very powerful glycoside, is found in horseradish, and it helps with water retention by stimulating the blood capillaries. It improves the blood flow and rejuvenates the circulation below and to the skin surface and can be used for skin treatments.
Research on horseradish
A study conducted by a group of German scientists in 2006, looked at the efficacy of horseradish in the treatment of sinusitis, bronchitis and urinary tract infections. The participants were treated either with the nasturtium herb (nasturtium is a plant found in many gardens – leaves and flowers are known for their healing effects) and horseradish root or with standard antibiotic therapy. The results suggested that therapy with the herbal drug was as at least as effective as standard antibiotic treatment.
Moreover, the group treated with the herbal drug required less supportive procedures and their treatment regimen was generally seen as safer compared to the use of the mainstream pharmaceuticals.
Another study found that the recovery process was 40% faster when patients took horseradish instead of antibiotics. The symptoms of infection were also less likely to reoccur. The latter is the main complaint about prescribed decongestants and mucolytics. They only suppress the symptoms, while aggravating the underlying causes.
How does horseradish work with respiratory infections?
Horseradish works as a mild natural antibiotic. It helps your body get rid of the mucus, which, when stagnant, can become the breeding ground for bacteria that cause serious infections. Horseradish thins the mucus. This makes it easier to cough it out. Initially, the mucus production might increase. But this is in fact a good sign as it’s signaling that the body is cleansing. You just need to be patient for a day or two before you can start celebrating your win over that persistent cold (or even your sinus infection). It is recommended to take horseradish as soon as you start feeling the cold or sinus infection setting in.
If you suffer from sinus infection, there are other effective natural treatments that you can combine with the consumption of horseradish. I wrote a detailed article about the best home remedies for sinus infection and I’ve personally used many of them. If you suffer from sinus infection you really need to combine a few remedies / treatment options to speed the recovery and to get rid of the mucus that allows bacteria to bread.
More medicinal uses for Horseradish
Horseradish’s antibiotic effect also helps with urinary tract infections (UTI). It stimulates the flow of urine and can be safely used over a longer period of time. If you suffer from UTI, make sure to read and follow my suggestions about natural ways to treat and prevent UTI.
Some use horseradish topically for arthritis pain and nerve irritation, and it has even been known to be effective with wound treatment. You can find more information on how to naturally treat arthritis in my post about the best natural remedies for arthritis.
How to take horseradish?
There are several ways to use horseradish but my preference is to eat it raw and fresh: grate it and mix it with other healing ingredients, such as apple cider vinegar (which can revolutionize your health) and honey.
It is important to consume horseradish fresh or it will lose its potency. Also, it’s best to use it raw, as cooking destroys some of its beneficial substances and takes away its signature refreshingly spicy taste.
To get a better idea about how to use horseradish, have a look at the recipes below. Also, we might sometimes be eating horseradish without even being aware. Did you know that ‘wasabi’ served in many sushi restaurants is in fact dyed horseradish? They taste similar and they both give you that famous kick, but horseradish is much easier to find compared to the scarce wasabi, so it’s often served to the unaware costumers.
Recommended daily intake of Horseradish
The German Commission E monograph (Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines) suggests an average daily intake of 1/2–1 teaspoon (3–5 grams) of the freshly grated horseradish three times per day. If used in amounts higher than recommended, horseradish can cause stomach upset, vomiting, or excessive sweating.
Horseradish Recipes to clear your nose and chest
Horseradish sinus plumber
- 8 – 12 inch long piece of horseradish root
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV can revolutionize your health)
- Pinch salt
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the surface skin off of the tuber and chop into small pieces.
Put into the food processor, add the water, the vinegar and the salt.
Process until well ground.
At the point you have to be extremely careful as the ground up fresh horseradish is many times as potent as chopped onions and it can seriously hurt your eyes if you get too close. Always keep an arm length away and work in a well ventilated area.
Store in a glass jar and eat 1/2–1 teaspoon (3–5 grams) three times per day. This is a seriously strong concoction which I’ve used myself and found it extremely effective. If you haven’t eaten horseradish before start with very small amounts as this is extremely strong and potent concoction.
It will keep 4-5 weeks in the refrigerator.
- 2 medium avocados
- 4 tablespoons fresh grated horseradish
- 1 medium lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mash the avocado. Add grated horseradish (peel before grating), lime juice and salt and pepper. Mash-up well, chill and serve as a dip. You can also add Greek yoghurt to make it richer.
Ingredients (for 3 servings):
- 10 grams fresh horseradish
- 5 grams fresh ginger
- 200 ml boiling water
Use horseradish and ginger to prepare this simple tea. Put them in a tea sieve or in a cup and pour the boiling water over. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Drink it three times a day, heated to a temperature of about 40 degrees Celsius.
Horseradish super concoction
- 1 large horseradish root (6 inches)
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey (preferably raw, organic).
Grate fresh horseradish. Mix with lemon juice and honey and put into a jar. Seal the jar with an airtight lid and leave for 24 hours. Take 1 tablespoon of this powerful mixture 3 to 4 times per day. Don’t dilute with water. If it burns your throat and sinuses, this is a good indication that it’s working.
Another way to kill your infections is to use the following master tonic recipe: