Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Amoraciae Rusticanae Radix, Armoracia lopathifolia, Armoracia rusticana, Cochlearia armoracia, Cran de Bretagne, Cranson, Grand Raifort, Great Raifort, Meerrettich, Mountain Radish, Moutarde des Allemands, Moutarde des Capucins, Moutardelle, Nasturtium armoracia, Pepperrot, Rábano Picante, Rábano Rústico, Radis de Cheval, Raifort, Raifort Sauvage, Red Cole, Rorippa armoracia.


Horseradish is a plant. It is frequently prepared as a condiment, but the roots are also used as medicine.

Horseradish is used for urinary tract infections, kidney stones, fluid retention, cough, bronchitis, achy joints (rheumatism), gallbladder disorders, sciatic nerve pain, gout, colic, and intestinal worms in children.

Some people apply horseradish directly to the skin for painful and swollen joints or tissues and for minor muscle aches.

How does it work?

Horseradish might help fight bacteria and stop spasms.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Bronchitis. Early research shows that taking a specific product (Angocin Anti-Infekt N) containing horseradish root and nasturtium by mouth for about 7-14 days reduces symptoms of acute bronchitis as effectively as antibiotics.
  • Nasal swelling (sinusitis). Early research shows that taking a specific product (Angocin Anti-Infekt N) containing horseradish root and nasturtium by mouth for about 7-14 days reduces symptoms of acute sinusitis as effectively as antibiotics.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs). Early research shows that taking a specific product (Angocin Anti-Infekt N) containing horseradish root and nasturtium by mouth for about 7-14 days is less effective than antibiotics for reducing symptoms of UTIs.
  • Fluid retention (edema).
  • Cough.
  • Achy joints and muscles.
  • Gout.
  • Gallbladder disorders.
  • Sciatic nerve pain.
  • Colic.
  • Intestinal worms.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of horseradish for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Horseradish root is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts. However, it contains mustard oil, which is extremely irritating to the lining of the mouth, throat, nose, digestive system, and urinary tract. Horseradish can cause side effects including stomach upset, bloody vomiting, and diarrhea. It may also slow down the activity of the thyroid gland.

When used on the skin, horseradish is POSSIBLY SAFE when preparations containing 2% mustard oil or less are used, but it can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Special Precautions & Warnings

Children less than 4 years old: Horseradish is LIKELY UNSAFE in young children when taken by mouth because it can cause digestive tract problems.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to take horseradish by mouth in large amounts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Horseradish contains mustard oil, which can be toxic and irritating. Horseradish tincture is also LIKELY UNSAFE when used regularly or in large amounts because it might cause a miscarriage.

Stomach or intestinal ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, infections or other digestive tract conditions: Horseradish can irritate the digestive tract. Don't use horseradish if you have any of these conditions.

Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism): There is concern that using horseradish might make this condition worse.

Kidney problems: There is concern that horseradish might increase urine flow. This could be a problem for people with kidney disorders. Avoid using horseradish if you have kidney problems.


LevothyroxineInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Levothyroxine is used for low thyroid function. Horseradish seems to decrease the thyroid. Taking horseradish along with levothyroxine might decrease the effects of levothyroxine.

Some brands that contain levothyroxine include Armour Thyroid, Eltroxin, Estre, Euthyrox, Levo-T, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid, and others.


The appropriate dose of horseradish depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for horseradish. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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