The Lowly Radish

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The Lowly Radish – It’s Time to give it a little more respect

Radishes have a long history. In the ancient pyramids of Egypt, replicas of radishes have been found crafted in gold accompanied by beets in silver and turnips fashioned in lead. Although evidently important to the Egyptians of the day, today’s domestic radishes are believed to have originated from China. There wild radishes grow natively in abundance and have long been known for their health and nutritional qualities.

They are very beneficial to both the liver and the stomach. Their high fibre content improves digestion and water retention while working to prevent constipation. They support the liver, a major detoxifying organ. One liver issue, jaundice, results in higher than normal bilirubin levels. Too much bilirubin causes the yellow coloration associated with jaundice. Black radishes (more available in fall than the spring) are preferred as being the most effective at removing this excess bilirubin.

Consuming radishes further supports the livers efforts at detoxifying the blood and body by helping to supply more fresh oxygen to the red blood cells thus slowing their destruction and ensuing toxin production. Eating radishes also increases urine production, due to their diuretic propeties. This property further speeds up the detoxification process in support of good health.

But the benefits don’t end there. Radishes are an excellent source of flavonoids including anthocyanins which have been linked to reduced occurrence of cardiovascular disease as well as displaying anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. There also, rich in vitamin C and folic acid and potassium. Potassium reduces blood pressure by widening the flow of blood.

Diabetics should like them. They are low on the glycemic index so they don’t impact sugar levels. Also, good appetizer, breath freshener, and metabolism regulator. It is an akaline forming food which makes them helpful in keeping pH from getting too acidic. With their many benefits, you’ll want to be sure you get your hands on some this spring, but not everyone should consume a lot of them.

If you have gall bladder issues, exercise caution. Anyone who has gallstones could find them quite irritating and may wish to avoid them. But you don’t have to actually eat the radishes to make use of them. They’re more than just nutritious good eating.

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Other Uses For Radishes

  • Smashed or grated raw radish makes a good cleanser and can be used in an efficient face pack. The disinfectant properties help clear up skin disorders.
  • Drinking a bit of radish juice mixed with a little black salt can be help to lower body temperature and provide relief from inflammation during a fever,
  • A poultice or grated raw radish or simply a cut radish can be placed on insect bites to provide quick relief. The juice can reduce pain and swelling while it soothes the affected area.

Quick snack or Nice Garnish

Radishes are great for people on the go. They can be eaten raw, often enjoyed with just a sprinkle of salt or dunked in a ready made vegetable dip. They also make a colourful nutritious addition to a meal simply being cleaned sliced and added to a quick salad.

For those who don’t enjoy the peppery flavour of raw radishes, pickled radishes may be a hit. In Japan pickled radishes make up part of the core diet. Could it be that this fact in combination with the high potassium levels and detox properties of this root has helped the Japanese to survive the Fukishima nuclear incident so well?  Try our pickled radish recipe!


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