Thursday, December 11, 2008

Raphanus sativus L.

Family : Brassicaceae

Synonym(s) : Raphanus raphanistrum sativus ((L.) G. Beck.)

English Name : Radish

Origin : India


The genus is distinguished by its elongated pod, which has no longitudinal partition when ripe, but contains several seeds separated by a pithy substance filling the pod. The leaves are rough and partly divided into segments, the outer one being larger and broader than the rest. The flower stem grows to about 3 feet in height, bearing medium-sized flowers that vary in colour from white to pale violet, with strongly marked, dark veins. Structurally, it resembles the turnip, as the swollen, fleshy portion is really a stem which gradually passes downwards into the real root. The flesh is white, crisp, and tender.


A common weed of seasides and sandy soils in Europe and the UK.

Parts Used : Fruit and root

Herb Effects

Antiscorbutic, antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive and diuretic (root); eliminates toxins from the body, shows anti-tumour activity (plant); diuretic and laxative (fresh leaf juice); carminative, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic (seed).

Active Ingredients

Ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin (fruit); caffeic acid, diallyl-sulphide, ferulic acid, folacin, glutamic acid, glycine, linoleic acid, methionine, oleic acid, oxalic acid, p-coumaric acid, palmitic acid, pantothenic acid, phenylalanine, stearic acid, tryptophan, tyrosine (root); arginine (plant).

Medicinal Use

Stimulate the appetite and digestion, having a tonic and laxative effect upon the intestines and indirectly stimulating the flow of bile (root); in the treatment of asthma and other chest complaints (leaves, seeds and old roots); in the treatment of indigestion, abdominal bloating, wind, acid regurgitation, diarrhoea, bronchitis and in the treatment of intestinal parasites (plant). It is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelly feet.


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