The Japanese radishes have higher concentrations of glucosinolate, a substance that acts against the thyroid gland. It is probably best to remove the skin.
Raphanus sativa is most famously grown for it's large edible root but the seeds, flowers and young leaves and seedpods are also often eaten or added to dishes to impart some spice.
The growing plant repels beetles from tomatoes and cucumbers. It is also useful for repelling various other insect pests such as carrot root fly. There is a fodder variety that grows more vigorously and is used as a green manure.
Radishes have long been grown as a food crop, but they also have various medicinal actions. The roots stimulate the appetite and digestion, having a tonic and laxative effect upon the intestines and indirectly stimulating the flow of bile. Consuming radish generally results in improved digestion, but some people are sensitive to its acridity and robust action. The plant is used in the treatment of intestinal parasites, though the part of the plant used is not specified. The leaves, seeds and old roots are used in the treatment of asthma and other chest complaints. The juice of the fresh leaves is diuretic and laxative. The seed is carminative, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of indigestion, abdominal bloating, wind, acid regurgitation, diarrhoea and bronchitis. The root is antiscorbutic, antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive and diuretic. It is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelly feet. Radishes are also an excellent food remedy for stone, gravel and scorbutic conditions. The root is best harvested before the plant flowers. Its use is not recommended if the stomach or intestines are inflamed. The plant contains raphanin, which is antibacterial and antifungal. It inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, streptococci, Pneumococci etc. The plant also shows anti-tumour activity.
The fast growing leaves can make a quick growing green manure crop.
Seed - sow outdoors in situ in succession from late winter to the middle of summer. Germination takes place within a few days of sowing the seed. If you want a constant supply of the roots then you need to sow seed every 2 - 3 weeks.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Raphanus sativus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Very easily cultivated fast-growing plants which prefer a rich light soil with ample moisture. They dislike very heavy or acid soils. Plants are susceptible to drought and require irrigation during dry spells in the summer or the root quality will rapidly deteriorate and the plant will go to seed. Radishes are widely cultivated for their edible roots. There are many named varieties that are able to supply edible roots all year round. Over the centuries a number of distinct groups have evolved through cultivation, these have been classified by the botanists as follows. A separate entry has been made for each group:-
R. sativus. The common radish. Fast maturing plants with small roots that can be round or cylindrical and usually have red skins. They are grown primarily for their roots which in some varieties can be ready within three weeks from sowing the seed and are used mainly in salads. These are mainly grown for spring, summer and autumn use and can produce a crop within a few weeks of sowing. R. sativus caudatus. The rat-tailed radishes. This group does not produce roots of good quality, it is cultivated mainly for the edible young seedpods which are harvested in the summer. R. sativus niger. The Oriental and Spanish radishes. These are grown for their larger edible root which can be round or cylindrical and can be available throughout the winter. R. sativus oleiformis. The fodder radishes. These are grown mainly for their leaves and oil-rich seeds, they are used as a green manure or stock feed though they can also be eaten by people. The roots of these plants soon become fibrous, though they make acceptable eating when young.
Radishes are a good companion plant for lettuces, nasturtiums, peas and chervil, tomatoes and cucumbers. They are said to repel cucumber beetles if planted near cucumber plants and they also repel the vine borers which attack squashes, marrows and courgettes. They grow badly with hyssop and with grape vines.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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