• Herbal Farmwife

Back Pain? Migraines? Horseradish May Be Your Answer.

Do you experience a dull ache, soreness, or stiffness in your back? Maybe it is more extreme with symptoms of throbbing, burning, and shooting? Or maybe the pain is somewhere else like in the front of your head? Do you have migraines? You’ve tried everything and nothing works.

Interestingly, I stumbled upon something that may help. Actually, I did stumble over it. Literally. As you may or may not know, a tornado destroyed our farmstead a few years back. While working on putting up a slightly weathered tornado surviving greenhouse on the old concrete pad of my in-laws destroyed garage, I keep falling over these plants. After a couple of times of this happening and thinking the next time I was going to break my ankle, I instructed the kids to go get a weed-eater to cut them off. Our son reported we couldn’t do that because Grandma instructed not to destroy them since it was her only plants left from the old place. Days later, our farm employee pulled a little up realizing it was horseradish not flowers!

Oh horseradish. My grandfather use to eat this vegetable root that is also known as a spice on everything as a condiment. The pungent smell would fill up Grandma Mina’s kitchen. The horseradish root has very little odor when it is uncut. But when it is grated or cut, it discharges enzymes that create an irritant that can affect your sinuses and your eyes’ tear ducts. My eyes are watering just thinking about it. If my grandparents found a value in it, let’s put a wooden clothes pin on our nose and proceed.

This perennial plant and its roots have been used for thousands of years in culinary dishes and for medicinal purposes. In pre-medieval Greece, horseradish was used to relieve back pain. Although there isn’t a lot of research on this subject, Horseradish may provide healing due to its anti-inflammatory elements. According to a 2015 research study, anti-inflammatory activity of horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) root extracts in LPS-stimulated macrophages. “Our results demonstrate that Armoracia rusticana reduced nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 release and nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 expression in macrophages, acting on nuclear transcription factor NF-κB p65 activation.” I just put that technical language in here just so when the Horseradish smell is clearing out your sinuses that you know it helps with reducing your inflammation that is causing you pain.

You can eat Horseradish for a wealth of health benefits. But, you may want to try placing a Horseradish poultice onto your back, head (for migraines), or any other part of your body that has arthritis, inflammation, or injury. To make a poultice, put chopped Horseradish into a clean cotton bag, sock, or fabric. Tie it at the top and place the bag into a shallow bowl. Pour hot water over the prefilled bag to heat and soak the Horseradish. Squeeze and then knead the bag. Apply this to the area where you are hurting until the poultice cools. Make sure that you apply it when it is still hot and tolerable. The purpose here is not to burn your skin. You can repeat the steps to reheat and reapply the Horseradish poultice. Make sure you lay a towel or blanket underneath your body to ensure that the Horseradish pulp doesn’t saturate your chair, couch, bed, or whatever else you may be laying on.

Now, I need to head out to the farm and pull some horseradish. Then, I’m going to look for a clothes pin. Have a wonderful day.

Blessings, Herbal Farmwife

DISCLAIMER: This information should not be considered to be healthcare advice, medical diagnosis, or treatment. This information is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professionals. Always consult a healthcare professional first before trying any herbs, spices, vitamins, or minerals mentioned in this posting. This information is merely a discussion of “thoughts” among friends. Please note that none of these statements have been evaluated by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration.




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