Radish - Best Herb for Many Health Problems

Black Radish

Raphanus sativus niger Cruciferae

This garden vegetable is a biennial that can grow to a height (if 1m. The black species has a swollen taproot that is black on the outside while the inner flesh is white.Its leaves are rough to the touch, deeply lobed and serrated. The pale lilac flowers grow in clusters and are followed by short, swollen seedpods. Radish was grown by the ancient Egyptians and the Romans. The name radish derives from the Latin word 'radix', meaning root.

Parts used

  • Root
  • The plant is pulled up in autumn when its roots contain the maximum amount of active substances.
  • The roots are then used to make liquid or dry extracts.

Medicinal uses

Radish has been used to treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. It promotes the secretion of bile and so can alleviate indigestion. It further stimulates intestinal contractions and can be taken to remedy constipation.

Radish may relieve abdominal distension. In 2002 Hungarian scientists fed radish to mice that had been given a high fat diet. They found that mice given radish had fewer symptoms such as bloating.

Due to the raphanin in the essential oil, radish is capable of killing bacteria and studies have also indicated antiviral activity.

Radish has also been used to treat minor skin burns and irritation, such as nappy rash.Radish is high in glucosinolates and according to a 2002 American review, the consumption of vegetables containing glucosinolates may be related to a lower incidence of cancers.


Radish contains an essential oil rich in sweet-smelling sulphur compounds called glucosinolates. Raphanin is also present and possesses antiseptic properties. The plant contains vitamin C, group B vitamins, minerals (calcium and arsenic) and sugars.


Do not use radish if you have gastritis, stomach ulcers, gallstones or an obstruction of the bile tract as there could be unpleasant side effects, such as irritation of the lining of the stomach, heartburn and diarrhoea. The sulphur compounds in radish may cause inflammation of the thyroid gland.

Radish is not recommended for people with thyroid problems.

Do not use radish continuously for more than a month at a time.


For internal use

TO TREAT bile flow problems, constipation
JUICE OF THE FRESH ROOTS Drink 1 tablespoon of juice diluted in a glass of water three times a day.

CAPSULES (100mg dry extract) Take 2 capsules in the morning before eating.


Grow in moist, well-drained soil in a sunny spot. Sow the seeds in spring.



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