The black radish, which is also called winter radish or black radish, is harvested from September to about November, but they are available until roughly March because they can be stored in moist sand for months. Most varieties of black radish are round with black skin and bright white.
Black radish was a more well-known vegetable until the 20th century. It is now a ‘forgotten vegetable’. The black radish is related to radish, mustard, and horseradish, but also to red cabbage, bok choy, and cauliflower. It belongs to the cruciferous family. The black radish is only much less demanding than its relatives. Because light frosts hardly harm him.
What is radish?
The black radish or black radish (Raphanus sativus subs. niger) belongs to the genus of cruciferous vegetables, such as mustard, horseradish, and radish. It is an ancient crop and was already known as a food and medicinal herb in ancient Rome and Greece.
It was eaten raw with salt and vinegar and a juice prepared from it was used as a cough medicine. Hildegard van Bingen (1098 – 1179), a German Benedictine abbess, describes it as cleansing and mucus-dissolving. There are varieties with white skin, red skin, blue skin, brown-black skin, black skin, and yellow skin. The radish has white flesh. The taste is similar to that of radish, only the radish is milder in taste. The yellow variety has a subtle lime flavor.
The main difference between a radish and a radish is that radish is a stem tuber and radish is a root tuber. A tuber is a thickening part of the plant. In most cases, it is a thickening of the stem and that is known as a corm. The thickening can also occur in the root, in which case it is referred to as a so-called root tuber.
The black radish probably originates from the region of what is now Syria. Until the middle of the 20th century, it was mainly popular in parts of Europe because of its robustness and good storage options. For several years now, the vegetable has enjoyed little more fame and is mainly offered in the winter months.
Nutrients in winter radishes
The typical sharp taste of the winter radish comes from the sulfurous mustard oil. This radish root contains a lot of potassium and calcium, as well as some vitamins (such as B vitamins and vitamin C, which are important for building connective tissue), but especially mustard oil (or mustard oil glycosides).
They give the black radish its slightly pungent taste and medicinal properties. In herbal medicine, black radish is used against coughs, it is said to have an expectorant effect. Black radish has an antimicrobial effect, stimulates the flow of bile, and promotes digestion (for example, of fats).
Health effects of black radish
Your digestive tract benefits from the black radish. The production of digestive juices and bile juice is stimulated and intestinal activity is activated. Fat digestion is supported. The fats are broken down into their individual parts, reducing bloating and feeling full. The black radish also has an antispasmodic effect.
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The mustard oil glycosides present have a positive effect on the respiratory tract. They kill the bacteria and help with persistent coughing. For this purpose, the juice is made from black radish which acts as a good antitussive:
- Cut the radish open at the top and hollow it out (about a third of the flesh).
- Then pierce with a long needle from top to bottom until you go through the bottom; about five times.
- The radish is then placed on a tray to collect the juice.
- Five tablespoons of honey are poured into the hollowed-out opening and the cough syrup can now be produced.
- After a few hours, the first liquid has formed and the cough medicine is ready.
- When there is no more juice, some pulp is hollowed out again and the radish is again filled with honey. The whole process then starts again.
- An adult can consume a teaspoon several times a day; children less by age.
- If you don’t like honey, you can also use sugar for the cough syrup.
Capsules and radish juice
Black radish is also available in capsule form and as juice. Both the juice and capsules relieve mild digestive problems, have a detoxifying effect, stimulate digestion, and are recommended for general detoxification. If there are gallstones, you should not take these supplements.
The black radish can be stored in the same way as carrots and beetroot. The skin makes this vegetable quite insensitive to pressure. In sand and free of leaves, it can be stored in the cellar for up to six months.
You peel black radish. Just like the white variety, it can be eaten raw, finely grated, or sliced, as a salad or as a snack. Salt takes away its sharpness. It is therefore advisable to salt it just before eating. Black radish is sharper than the white variety.
Therefore, the black version is often served cooked. It is best to cut this vegetable into fairly large cubes, which you can cook in a little water with a pinch of salt. Assume a cooking time of 4-6 minutes. In addition to cooking, you can also stir-fry, stew, or prepare soup from radish.