Friday, 19 March 2010


This pungent root grew in Greece more than 3,000 years ago. The Delphic Oracle told Apollo that the horseradish was worth its weight in gold. It is thought that Henry J. Heinz was the first man to start producing horseradish commercially in 1869 from a recipe he used to make with his mother. The largest company selling Horseradish sauce today sells 2.5 million jars a year.

Horseradish is in the same family as mustard and shares many of its actions. It’s heat gives rise to its aphrodisiac and circulatory stimulant properties. It is also diuretic (flushing out the urinary system), and diaphoretic (encouraging sweating). It can be used externally to draw blood to an area for healing, as in arthritic conditions but it can cause blistering n the skin. We have kept a lump of the root aside in the fridge to grate into soups and stews over the chilly weeks ahead.

We chose a Tuesday (Mars) last Autumn when the moon was full to harvest alot of Horseradish root from the Lee Valley park near Cheshunt. The root was relatively easy to dig up, in nice loose soil but chopping proved a timely task. The root is tough and as you are chopping it, mustard oil is released which stings the eyes so powerfully, it’s incredible, we used sharp knives and goggles to make the process possible. We got so much that we made 2 litres of tincture and 1 of oil. The oil we use in our Ache Ease Balm.

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