Black Radish

Scientific Name/Common Name: Raphanus sativus L. var. niger / Black Radish

Part(s) Used: Root/tuber

Constituents/Active Ingredients: Black radish contains raphanin, a mustard oil glycoside. Mustard oil glycosides have been shown to significantly increase the non-specific resistance of plants to invasion by micro-organisms, giving the plant a strong anti-microbial action. Black radish also contains dietary fibre, vitamin C, and small amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

Overview: Black radish belongs to the Cruciferous (mustard plant) family and is an ancient vegetable thought to come from Asia, although it may have originated from early Egyptians who began making oil from radish seeds in ancient times. Black radish is a root vegetable the size of a turnip, with a black skin and white flesh. Black radishes have a strong bitter flavour and, like other cruciferous vegetables, they are often associated with causing bloating upon digestion. Black radishes have many medicinal properties and are more commonly used as a medicine than as a food, particularly for stimulating the production of bile, treating gallbladder gravel, and serving as a liver tonic. Radishes have been shown to contain a variety of chemicals that increase the flow of bile, which plays an important role in the digestive process.

Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: In Western herbal medicine, black radish has a tonic and laxative action on the intestines and indirectly stimulates the flow of bile and digestive juices. Not only does it prevent congestion of bile, but black radish also relieves inflammation of the gallbladder and the formation of gallstones. Antimicrobial to discourage growth of pathogenic microorganisms in the intestines.

Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:

Duke, J. 1997: The Green Pharmacy, The Ultimate Compendium of Natural Remedies from the World’s Foremost Authority on Healing and Herbs. Pp. 279; 333. Rodale Press.

Mills, S and Bone, K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. ©2000 Simon Mills and Kerry Bone. Churchill Livingstone. Pg. 23.

Blumenthal et al. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. ©1998 American Botanical Council. Pg 193-4.

Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.