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Radish (raw)

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Reported by John Immel, Asheville, NC

Radish (raw) Ayurveda Medicinal Properties
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingDigestive Effects Help
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
Diaphoretic, Diuretic
Type: Roots
Recommended for: Spring
Effect: Rajasic, Alkalizing
Moves energy: Outward

Serving Size: 1 tbsp
Species: Raphanus sativus
Family: Brassicaceae
Pharmacological Effects
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.

ayurvedic perspective

This unassuming root vegetable packs more health benefits than you may suspect. By stimulating the flow of bile, radishes are a useful tool for fat digestion, decongesting the gall bladder, and cleansing of both the liver and the blood. They have also been used to break up gallstones and kidney stones.

In order to best utilize these benefits, radish juice is recommended. Drink in increasing doses from 1/2 to 2 cupfuls daily, continued over several weeks, then decreasing back down to 1/2 cup. Radishes are also low on the glycemic index and are a negative calorie food. This means you burn more calories digesting them than they contain.

Radishes and Blood Pressure

Radishes are high in potassium which is helps keep blood pressure at safe levels. Potassium lowers blood pressure because its effects are opposite of those of sodium. Salt, which is sodium based, increases water retention. Potassium, on the other hand, is a diuretic that flushes water from the body. The National Institute of Health DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) recommends increasing potassium, calcium, and magnesium to keep blood pressure at healthy levels.

Raw radish strongly provokes Pitta in the digestive tract. It clears food stagnation and has a laxative effect due to its diuretic nature, all while having a cooling effect on the blood. Vata individuals be warned, radishes may be difficult to digest and create gas for your dosha.

Raw brassicas contain chemicals that can block thyroid function called goitrogens. These chemicals are easily inactivated by steaming or cooking.
The word radish derives from the latin word for root, "radix." Domesticated in Europe in pre-Roman times, radishes are an edible root of the Brassicaceae family. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. They are inexpensive, grow quickly and are cultivated and eaten throughout the world. As a root, they store well over winter and are often pickled. In Oaxaca, Mexico citizens carve figures out of radishes on "Noche de Los Rabanos" (Night of the Radishes) as part of Christmas festivities, pictured below.

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Use the crisp texture and vibrant color of radishes to make your salads and hors d'ouvres tasty and visually appealing. Radishes pair well with dill, as well. You may also grill them after marinating in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The pungent and peppery flavor of raw radishes can be toned down by cooking or pickling, as is common in Korea and other Asian countries. Radish leaves can be somewhat rough and abrasive. Other Brassicas such as arugula offer a softer yet still pungent leaf.

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