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Black Radish BLACK RADISH  

Botanical:  Raphanus sativus; Raphanus niger
Family:  Brassicaceae (cabbage) - Cruciferae (mustard)

Other common names:  Black Spanish Radish, Raifort, Long Black Spanish Radish

Black Radish is a highly nutritious way to maintain liver, gallbladder and digestive health; and while helping to remedy vitamin deficiencies, it will also help to ease thyroid and respiratory problems.  Furthermore, Black Radish is thought to be an effective antioxidant that combats ageing and fights colds and influenza.

The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

The Radish is a root vegetable that is thought to be a native of southern Asia, but there has been much speculation over the years about its true ancestral home.  Early writers claim it originated in the Near East, but later studies claim that different species evolved in China and the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas. The Radish has a history both as a food and medicine that goes back thousands of years in Egypt, Greece, Rome and China.  Egyptian tomb illustrations from 2000 B.C. display Black Radishes, and the Greek historian, Herodutus (648-625 B.C.), writes of the Radish as an important crop root and offering to Apollo.  Root crops, as a group, have been a staple food for societies around the globe since ancient times.  Radishes come in many colors and sizes, with white, red or red and white most common in the United States.  The Black Radish is a dull black or dark brown, turnip-like variety that is approximately eight inches in length, and when the dark skin is peeled, it reveals a firm, crisp, snow-white flesh that is quite pungent and drier than other varieties.  Few gardeners grow the round Black Spanish or Long Black Spanish Radish, which thrives in rich, moist, well-drained soil in sun.  The Black Radish reached England in the sixteenth century and was thus recorded:  "The Radish with a black root has of late years been brought into England and now beginnith to be common."  In Gerard's Herball of 1597, he noted that four varieties were available, and the esteemed seventeenth-century English herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, recommended it for urinary, stone and gravel problems, although disdaining it as a food.  In 1768, Philip Miller described the Black Spanish variety as being used primarily for medicinal purposes, as well as a good winter vegetable, because it has a long shelf life; and in the United States, Radishes and other root crops were already well known to colonial Virginians.  The most popular part of the Black Radish for eating is the taproot, and the tops may also be used as a leaf vegetable, but it is more commonly used in herbal medicine to counter gassy indigestion and constipation, and it also has a pronounced effect on the liver.  In China, it has been utilized to relieve abdominal distention.  Some of the constituents in Black Radish are a high vitamin C content, B-vitamins and vitamins A and E, raphanin, protein, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, fatty acids, linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid and sulfur.

Beneficial Uses:
The Black Radish is said to have a pronounced effect on the liver, activating and regenerating liver cells.  It acts as a "cholagogue," or substance that stimulates bile production from the liver to the intestines, serving as a liver tonic and helping to detoxify the liver and purify it.  This action also helps to cleanse and purify the blood and reduce gravel in the gallbladder.

As an herbal diuretic, Black Radish encourages the production of urine; and, as such, it promotes the elimination of toxins, stones and gravel in the increased urine flow.

Because Black Radish helps to increase bile production, this also plays an important role in the digestive process and facilitates the elimination of stagnating food and toxic wastes from the body.  It is also said to have an antibacterial effect that helps to eliminate pathogens within the digestive tract and has been used to reduce indigestion, abdominal bloating, flatulence and acid regurgitation (acid reflux).

Black Radish is highly nutritious with many vitamins and minerals, helps in cases of vitamin deficiencies, and it is particularly rich in vitamin C, which has been effective against scurvy.  Black Radish is especially valuable in the winter months, combating infection and free radicals.  It is also considered an antiviral that helps to fight influenza.

The raphanin content in Black Radish helps keep the levels of thyroid hormones in balance and is believed to help in cases of hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease.   All cruciferous vegetables gently and naturally suppress thyroid hormone production, but Radishes do it best; and in Russia, Black Radish has long been used in the treatment of thyroid problems and imbalances.

Black Radish is a source of high fiber that has a mild laxative and tonic effect on the intestines, and is helpful in cases of constipation.

Black Radish has been used to maintain good respiratory health and is believed to ease bronchitis, colds and flu, sore throat and coughs.

People with gallbladder stones or obstructions, and those with severe kidney or hepatic (liver) problems should not use Black Radish Herbal Supplement without consulting a qualified health care professional.

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