Young flower clusters - raw or cooked. A spicy flavour with a crisp pleasant texture, they make a nice addition to salads or can be used as a broccoli substitute[9, K]. Seeds - raw. The seed can be soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then allowed to sprout for about 6 days. They have a hot spicy flavour and go well in salads. Young seedpods - raw. Crisp and juicy with a mildly hot flavour[K]. They must be eaten when young because they quickly become tough and fibrous. Root - raw or cooked. Large, crisp and juicy, many varieties have a hot and spicy flavour, though there are also many of the Oriental forms with much milder flavours. They can be sliced and eaten in salads or can be cooked in soups etc. The roots store well and can be either harvested in early winter for storage or be harvested as required through the winter[K].An edible oil is obtained from the seed.
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.
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The Oriental and winter radishes are often cultivated for their large edible roots, which can be available from mid summer and all through the winter. There are many named varieties. The plants are very winter hardy and can normally be left in the ground all winter to be harvested as required, though slugs might cause some damage to the roots.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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