"Black and red radishes have been used by some doctors in the old Soviet Union as accepted medical treatment for hypothyroidism. Raphanin, the main sulphur component in radishes, is chiefly responsible for keeping the production of thyroxine and calcitonin (a peptide hormone) in normal balance. Seeds and nuts, seed and nut milks, vegetable juices (celery, parsley, small amount of carrot, Swiss chard, wheat grass) and plenty of green drinks containing chlorophyll for healthy blood are helpful. Earth's Harvest is a blend of three micro-algaes that are a rich whole food source of chlorophyll. Having a mixed vegetable juice that includes the juice of a few radishes, carrot, tomato, Celery or zucchini, with a pinch of kelp may benefit the thyroid gland greatly. This juice can be blended in a blender for those who do not have a juicer."
"Radish (Raphanus sativus). Radishes have long been used in Russia for treating both types of thyroid problems, according to medical anthropologist John Heinerman, Ph.D., author of Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs. Russian researchers told him that one chemical in radishes, raphanin, helps keep levels of thyroid hormones in balance. With enough raphanin circulating in the blood, the gland is less likely to overproduce or underproduce these hormones."
"Dr. James Duke in The Green Pharmacy recommends radishes for treating Graves' disease and hypothyroidism. He notes that Russian researchers have identified a compound called raphanin in radishes that helps keep levels of thyroid hormones in balance when it is found circulating in the blood. Radishes also have an antibacterial effect and help to eliminate pathogens within the digestive tract. The fresh root's high fibre content can treat constipation. Culpeper says of radishes that, "It provokes urine and is good for the stone and gravel. The expressed juice of the root, with the addition of a little wine, is an admirable remedy for gravel."
Culpeper recommends a wineglassful of radish juice mixed with other juices taken daily, starting with a small amount and increasing gradually. It is recommended to mix the radish juice with other juices before drinking it because the juice is very strong. Culpeper recommends mixing radish juice with 6 times as much Celery juice or twice as much carrot juice.
Black radishes can also be eaten raw. The skin of the fresh radish is hard and must be removed. One source recommends serving them grated up as a salad with salt and cream added to tame their strong flavor. You can also cook them like you would do with turnips. Black radish is reputedly at its best in winter. When purchased, black radishes should be firm with unblemished skins. Like other root vegetables, black radish keeps well in a cool area. You can store them for up to 3 weeks."
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1 15-oz. can White Kidney Beans, drained
1 Black Radish, medium size
2 tsp. Mustard Seed, ground
1 tsp. Turmeric, powder
1 tbsp. Dill Weed, dry
1/8 tsp. Stevia Extract, white powder (sweetener - optional)
Place the lemon juice and white kidney beans in the cup of a high speed blender (Vita-Mix type). Thoroughly wash the black radish, cut into pieces and add to the blender cup. Add the mustard seed, turmeric and dill weed. Cover the blender cup and run the blender at high speed until the ingredients are creamy smooth.
You may notice a slight sulfur gas odor coming from the black radish. This will dissipate as the dressing marinates.
Taste the dressing to determine if it needs salt. If the dressing is too sharp for your taste, the stevia will "tone it down." Add the salt and stevia, as needed, and blend again thoroughly. Pour into a bottle and store in the refrigerator for a few hours before using. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
The above recipe is in keeping with God's creation intent (Genesis 1:29-31): 'Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-- everything that has the breath of life in it-- I give every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.' (NIV) Let no animal suffer or die that we may live! (d-33)
May 10, 2004: Sloth, carelessness, and poor planning can be great teachers, as my most recent harvest of black Spanish radishes illustrates. The black Spanish radish is an antique radish, a throwback to a time when people counted on storing roots to survive the winter. To modern consumers the black Spanish radish is puzzling. Unlike the ubiquitous little red radishes that adorn green salads the black Spanish radish is a huge root that can weigh as much as a small cantaloupe. Black radish isnít mild either, but can be harsh, especially right after harvest. Many recipes for black radish call for the root to be grated and marinated in salt water to dispel the mustardy bitterness.
Iíve read that it is traditional to slice black radish into pieces and eat it with a pinch of salt and a swig of beer. This recipe is ok, though Iíve usually wondered why I donít just swig the beer solo. But I keep planting black radish, even though most of my customers probably donít eat their black radishes anyway.
The root is so magnificently ugly with its rough textured black hide that it makes a fabulous conversation piece. Food stylists looking to take eye catching photos of table displays love it. Iím charmed by the black root myself and Iíve taken pleasure in growing an heirloom vegetable that seems more suited to a museum than a restaurant.
Over the years Iíve learned to plant black radish after midsummer so it will not bolt to flower before forming a root. And Iíve learned to religiously cloak my planting of black radish with a protective row cover from the day I sow it. Even if most people donít care to eat black radish, cabbage maggots sure love it and without a row cover a marketable crop can be almost impossible to achieve.
This is where sloth, carelessness, and poor planning can make a big difference. Last year poor planning meant I didnít have row cover on hand to protect the black radish crop when I planted it. The fabric came but then we didnít do a good job pinning it to the ground. The wind blew the row cover off the seed bed leaving the tender young radishes exposed to the flies. The result was a crop of black radish riddled with pale white maggots. Out of two 40 inch beds planted in double rows 600 feet long, I only salvaged a couple of bags of radish worth saving. I threw the plastic sacks in the dark corner of my cooler, disgusted. This was a bitter harvest in more ways than one.
Recently I uncovered the bags where they had lain forgotten. I figured the radishes would be rotten after four months in a bag. But no. When I looked the roots seemed to look the same as the day I harvested them. I sliced a root open to see if it was rotten inside. The black radish in my hand had snowy white flesh. Then, cautiously, without even a can of beer on hand to wash away the taste, I tried a bite. The radish was great. The harsh mustardy flavor was gone and the taste was clean crisp, and mild!
I finally understood. Black Spanish radish needs to be stored to reach its full potential. Back in the old days black radishes would have been heaped in the cellar with carrots, turnips, celeriac, etc. In the spring after sweeter roots had been eaten up the black Spanish radish would be waiting, ready and good. Beer brewed with the previous fallís grain harvest would be ready to drink, too.
My constant companions--sloth, carelessness, and poor planning--had come to my rescue again. Now I have a good plan. This July I will plant black radish right on schedule and Iíll care for it assiduously. In November we will harvest and clean the crop, then store it. Come next spring Iíll have a crop to sell just when my fields are empty and Iíll need money. Maybe I can even make back the dollars I lost last year.