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The spicy root of the horseradish plant is a widely used condiment. Native to southeast Europe, it is currently widely cultivated in Germany. In Japan, it is called wasabi, and forms a ubiquitous part of sushi cuisine.
Horseradish root also has a long history of medicinal use. Taken internally, it was thought to be effective for bladder infections as well as other bladder and kidney problems. (Horseradish oil once formed a part of a drug licensed in the US for treatment of bladder infection; however, contrary to statements made on some websites, this drug is no longer in use.) Horseradish was also taken internally as a treatment for respiratory infections and for joint pain. It was also applied externally in the form of a poultice to wounds, painful joints, and strained muscles.
A typical recommended dose of horseradish is 3 to 5 g of the freshly grated root taken three times daily, or 2 to 3 ml daily of horseradish tincture. For external use, freshly grated root is wrapped in thin gauze and applied to the skin until a sensation of warmth develops. The combined nasturtium-horseradish product mentioned above should be taken according to label instructions.