Horseradish Powder: A Central European Spice

Horseradish powder is made with dried horseradish root that has been ground into powder.

Horseradish is believed to come from Central Europe. Its name in English is thought to refer to the large size of the root and its coarseness. Horseradish was used by the ancient Egyptians. Records indicate that they were using it as early as 1500 BC. The Greek Ancient Greeks knew about horseradish as well and used it for its medicinal benefits.

During the Renaissance, the popularity of horseradish spread north from Central Europe to the Scandinavian countries and west to England. In England, the spice was consumed only by the working classes and rural folk at first. It would eventually become popular among all classes of the English. In addition to being used as the standard spice for beef dishes, cordials made with it would become popular for their energizing benefits.

It would be brought to America by European colonists and its cultivation began in the middle of the 19th century. Horseradish cultivation in the US is focused on the state of Illinois, which meets more than half of the nation’s demand.

Horseradish flavor profile

Horseradish powder is typically described as having a hot, biting flavor. Horseradish belongs to the same family as mustard and its flavor does bear some similarity to that of mustard powder.

Health benefits of horseradish

  • Low-calorie: A 1-tablespoon serving of horseradish has 7 calories and no fat. Using it to season your food does not increase the calorie count, which means that it can be helpful if you are trying to lose weight.
  • It contains glucosinolates: Glucosinolates are compounds consisting of sulfur and nitrogen and that are found in horseradish. Glucosinolates are responsible for the distinctive hot flavor. These compounds are believed to be effective for improving the effectiveness of various liver enzymes and are also thought to reduce the effects of toxic chemicals in the environment.
  • Rich in potassium: A 1-teaspoon serving of horseradish provides about 60 percent of the potassium an adult needs each day. Potassium is an important electrolyte that helps to counteract the effects of sodium and that is needed for regulating the balance of fluid in our bodies.
  • High dietary fiber: You will get about 3.3 grams of dietary fiber from a 1-teaspoon serving of horseradish. Fiber is important for digestive health in that it helps to speed up to the passage of food through the digestive tract. It is also important for mitigating the effects of cholesterol as it can lower your levels of low-density lipoprotein.

The nutrients in horseradish powder are beneficial for the treatment and prevention of health issues like:

  • Urinary tract infections: Horseradish has antibiotic properties that allow it to be effective for treating infections including urinary tract infections. Chemical components of horseradish become concentrated in the urine and therefore provide their antibiotic benefits within the bladder. In addition, these chemicals act as diuretics so that bacteria is flushed out in less time.
  • Respiratory tract infections: The antibacterial components of horseradish enable it to kill bacteria in the throat, which means that it can be effective for the treatment of bronchitis and similar ailments.
  • Cancer: The glucosinolates in horseradish are known cancer fighters. These compounds detoxify carcinogens and help to suppress tumor growth. There is evidence that some of the compounds induce apoptosis, which is the cancer cells’ self-destruct mechanism.

Common uses of horseradish powder

Horseradish powder is typically used in dishes that do not require cooking as heat can degrade its flavor. It is often used to flavor mayonnaise or sour cream, thus turning them into pungent dipping sauces. It can also be added to creme fraiche to make a sauce that can be served with roast beef.

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