Report on Horseradish Side Effects and Usage


Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia armoracia). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 – Contraindications: Horseradish is not recommended for children under four years old or used during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Warning 2 – Levothyroxine interaction: 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 of the brand names of drugs that contain levothyroxine include Armour Thyroid, Eltroxin, Estre, Euthyrox, Levo-T, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid, and others.

Warning 3 – Digestive tract conditions: Horseradish can irritate the digestive tract. Horseradish may worsen stomach or intestinal ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, infections or other digestive tract conditions.

Warning 4 – Hypothyroidism: If you have an underactive thyroid gland there is concern that using horseradish might make this condition worse.

Warning 5 – Kidney problems: There is concern that horseradish might increase urine flow. This could be a problem for people with kidney disorders. Experts recommend avoiding the use of horseradish if you have kidney problems.

Horseradish contains quite a number of nutrients: antioxidants, caffeic acid, calcium, carotenes, chlorophyll, ferulic acid, folic acid, iron, isothiocyanates, lutein, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, vitamin C, and zinc.

Used as a natural health remedy: Horseradish is used internally for the following benefits and conditions:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bacterial infection and mucous
  • Bronchitis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic rheumatic conditions
  • Colds
  • Coughs
  • Gout
  • Hay fever
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scurvy
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throat
  • Toothaches
  • Upper respiratory tract disorders
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Whooping cough

(*Source: 3, 7, 8, 11, 9, 12)

Horseradish is used as an external remedy for:

  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation
  • Rheumatic pains

Side Effects of Horseradish

When used on the skin strong formulas of horseradish can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
The possible side effects of using horseradish include:

  1. stomach upset
  2. diarrhea
  3. bloody vomiting

Other side effects may also occur when using Horseradish. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Horseradish is also known as 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, and Rorippa armoracia.

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For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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