Black radish health benefits and therapeutic value

Black radish sliced and topped with healthy canapés appetizers

Black radish (Raphanus sativus) is a very ancient species. Its origins are lost in the dawn of time and its precise origin cannot be traced. However, today, it is grown almost everywhere, and offers health benefits and therapeutic properties for the body.

It is more than anything known to detoxify the liver, bile ducts and to treat digestive disorders.

Health benefits of black radish

Used by the Pharaohs for its refreshing and nourishing properties, radish was subsequently recommended to stimulate the appetite and was then used as a diuretic in the Middle Ages. It then was relegated to being simply a nanny’s remedy as an expectorant against pertussis and bronchitis. Today, black radish is used in gastronomy for its nutrition and taste value and in medicine for its therapeutic benefits.

  • Black radish benefitsA source of vitamin B9, black radish contributes to proper upkeep of the body’s metabolism, reduces tiredness and regulates the immune system.
  • Potassium-rich black radish enhances the normal functions of the nervous and muscular system while maintaining constant normal blood pressure.
  • Black radish alleviates digestive disorders (bloating, constipation, etc.) and eases digestion.
  • Black radish has very interesting properties for liver purging. It stimulates bile activity and thus helps remove various toxins and debris that have accumulated due to digestion. It is even recommended to persons suffering from liver failure and to persons victims of liver disorders.
  • Dried, black radish roots seem to be beneficial in case of mild bronchitis.
  • Black radish juice (which you can also produce yourself with a blender) is said to contribute to reduce cardiovascular disorders and certain types of cancer thanks to the glucosinolates and isothiocyanates it contains.
  • Lastly, black radish juice is also effective to soothe sunburns, light burn wounds and skin rashes.

Growing black radish

  • Growing black radish for its benefitsBlack radish requires warm and full sun exposure as well as deep, soft, sandy, humus-rich soil.
  • Before the frost spells hit, remember to cover your black radish beds with horticultural fleece or a clear plastic to keep them for a bit longer.
  • Stay on the lookout for slugs and snails that adore black radish, especially when young.
  • No point in even trying to grow black radish in pots, its roots dig too deep. You’d need a very tall raised garden bed. But you can be successful with pink radish!

Cooking with black radish

Black radish cookingA large long root with black skin, black radish has very white flesh which is spicy and can be eaten raw, either thinly sliced or grated. Some varieties are round instead of long.

Black radish nutritional content

Black radish provides on average 18 kcal / 3.5 oz (100 g). It is a vegetable that contains many vitamins and minerals. Moreover, it contains organic compounds for which preliminary research seems to hint at anti-cancer effects.

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY 2.0: Jérôme Decq
CC BY-SA 2.0: Willrad von Doomenstein