Graduate of Longwood University in Virginia. Part-time sports journalist covering…
What is Black Radish Extract?
Black radish extract comes from the root of the black radish plant. The black radish, or the Black Spanish radish, is a member of the Cruciferae family and has been in use for centuries, both as a medicine and as food. It is scientifically known as Raphanus sativus L. Var. niger and may have originated from the eastern Mediterranean region (x). It is referred to as the black radish due to its dark purple or sometimes dark exterior, though it does come with a white inner flesh.
Since ancient times, black radish has been used by the Chinese, Indians and Europeans to treat different illnesses. Other regions have started growing the black radish, and its popularity has increased in recent years as a result of its impressive nutritional profile and fantastic health benefits.
The black radish is slightly larger than the traditional radish and more bitter and pungent in flavor. This is as a result of the chemical compounds such as glucosinate, Isothiocycinate and myrosinase produced by the plant. Its not-so-appetizing flavor is offset by the tons of health benefits it provides. The black radish has earned the moniker ‘the black magic’ due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial content, as well as being a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants. Today, the black radish is mostly used to make herbal supplements.
Nutritional Information of Black Radish Extract
Black radish extract offers various health benefits thanks to the wide array of compounds present within. Those compounds are:
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
There are also low levels of anthocyanins, antioxidants, hormones and enzymes within the black radish.
Black Radish Extract Benefits
Improves Skin Health
Having bright and healthy looking skin starts from having a clean internal system. Loaded with an abundance of zinc, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C and B-complex vitamins, black radish extract makes it effective for treating skin disorders (x). These nutrients work as an effective blood purifier, as it eliminates toxins and waste material from our body to improve our overall skin health.
Also, its antioxidant content — especially the vitamin C — helps combat against free radicals and prevent its damaging effect on the skin (x, x). Vitamin C is essential in combating many skin issues such as acne and scurvy, and it is effective in slowing down the aging process of the skin. These antioxidants all work together to resist the oxidization within our body to promote more youthful skin.
A common skin problem that can be cured by the consumption of black radish extract is angular cheilitis. Angular cheilitis is characterized by red, inflamed lesions at the side of the lips, and it is caused by bacterial or fungal infection, skin dryness or lack of essential body nutrients.
Boosts Liver Function
Our liver processes everything we eat and drink. It is a vital organ of the body with several functions which include protein production, bile secretion, drug metabolism and chemical detoxification. However, for several reasons, the liver may get damaged. For example, if you consume too much alcohol or you take drugs often, your liver could face the brunt. If the detoxifying power of the liver reduces, it could lead to a host of health conditions.
The black radish supplement being rich in several vitamins (vitamin B1, other B-vitamins, vitamin C) and minerals (magnesium, calcium) helps to promote the flow of bile and aids in liver drainage. History has shown that black radish extract has been useful for hepatic drainage (liver), and has also been helpful for hepatic headaches (x). In fact, it has been used for years in India as a liver tonic. Black radish contains a high sulfur compound content, which is quite vital for phase 2 liver detoxification.
A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed that an extract derived from the black radish plant effectively induced detoxification enzymes in a tested liver (x).
An important antioxidant our body needs that helps to prevent the build-up of toxins is glutathione. However, our body’s glutathione levels drop as we age as a result of an onslaught of free radicals. Plants like black radish have been found to increase their levels (x). Glutathione helps to promote enzymatic activity in the liver to prevent the build-up of toxins.
Acts as Respiratory Tonic
Black radish extract has a tonic effect on the respiratory system and has been used to reduce spasmodic conditions like whooping cough (x). Also, the vitamin C content in black radish due to its immune boosting properties can help protect against cold and flu. It can help heal infections within the respiratory system and can also clear mucus effectively to treat cough.
Can Treat Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism (also called Grave’s Disease) is a condition where thyroid organs secrete excess thyroid hormones. You have to treat this disease promptly, as it may cause health problems such as metabolism disorder, especially in women.
For centuries, doctors have used black radish to cure thyroid problems. Raphanin, the major sulfur compound of black radish, can help regulate the secretion of calcitonin and tyrosine hormones by our thyroid glands (x).
Maintains Cholesterol Levels
Do you have high cholesterol? Black radish supplements can help keep your cholesterol levels in the recommended range, which can then mitigate the dangers related to atherosclerosis, stroke and heart failure.
Black radish supplements participate actively in fat circulation and metabolism in the body. Since it boosts the functioning of the liver, the liver can efficiently aid the absorption of cholesterol before it gets deposited in the arterial wall and adipose tissues. It then filters the impurities and further processes the fat to eliminate fat accumulation. This process helps reduce cholesterol formation and indirectly cut down on the risk of heart attack (x).
The Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology published a study that sought to determine the effects of juice squeezed from black radish on serum lipids and cholesterol gallstones on mice fed on a lithogenic diet. After undergoing treatment with black radish for six days, the study showed the mice had decreased cholesterol gallstones, as well as a reduced level of cholesterol and triglycerides. The study concluded black radish could be effective in treating cholesterol gallstones and reducing blood lipids (x).
Black radish extract can also help in treating gallstones caused by cholesterol. Black radish juice extract contains antioxidants that help manage lipid metabolism and can help cut down on the risk of hyperlipidemia (x).
Black radish extract contains isothiocyanates, which has an important effect on the genetics pathways of cancerous cells and can lead to cell death, thereby preventing cancerous cells from reproducing (x).
Black radish extract being a good source of antioxidants like carotenoids makes it an amazing anti-cancerous remedy. These antioxidants help prevent the formation of free radicals, thereby keeping cell division and functioning under control, which will thus decrease the risk of cancer.
Supplements are also a great source of glucosinolates, a naturally occurring compound in cruciferous vegetables, which are broken down by our body into chemicals that can help prevent cancer. Black radish extract also has sulforaphane and anthocyanins, powerful compounds that have been beneficial in combating cancer of the mouth, prostate, stomach and kidney. Moreover, they can help neutralize free radicals and decrease oxidative stress, hence reducing cancer risk (x). However, further research is still necessary to understand the extent to which black radish can help.
If synthetically filled detoxifiers has been your go-to, then it is time to try out a more natural alternative, as black radish extract can help remove toxins found in the bloodstream and bone marrow.
The presence of toxins in the body can hinder the normal functioning of our red blood cells and other body organs. If you’re unable to purify the toxic blood in your system, it can destroy the friendly gut bacteria, impair RBC function and affect the proper functioning of your organs.
A 2012 study on mice revealed that black radish helped increase the activity of detoxification enzymes and also cleansed the blood of toxic materials. Black radish works alongside the lymphatic system and the liver to boost the activity of detoxification enzymes. Also, its high content of glucosinolate may be a detoxification enhancer (x).
Fortifies Immune System
A proper functioning and insusceptible immune system will help guard your body against pathogens, harmful cells and harmful micro-organisms. Since vitamin C and magnesium are two components of black radish, it is great for reinforcing your vulnerability. The black radish also has antimicrobial effects on flu, sore throat and the stimulation of mucous membrane. It can even help boost production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense, against toxins and pathogens (x).
Since black radish supplements improve the functioning of the liver and gallbladder, it also helps to improve digestion. How does this occur?
Well, the liver and gallbladder both play a role in digestion. The liver is responsible for bile production and the gallbladder stores bile and increases its potency. When you eat fatty food, the gallbladder releases this bitter fluid to improve the digestion of fat and protein. As a result, the use of black radish can serve as a natural remedy for an impaired digestive system.
Black radish contains a good amount of dietary fiber which helps to reduce constipation and maintain healthy bowel movement. In fact, black radish juice has been used in folk medicine to enhance the activity of digestive juices like bile, hereby improving digestion (x). Also, black radish being a detoxification agent clears toxic material from the stomach, which will then help maintain the PH level of the stomach.
Improves Cognitive Health
Maintaining good mental health depends on the proper electrochemical balance of the brain. Black radish can help improve brain power, nervous system functioning and cognitive function (x). This is a result of its magnesium and potassium content, which are vital minerals for balancing electrolytes in the brain.
content, which are vital minerals for balancing electrolytes in the brain.
Magnesium and potassium can also improve mental concentration as they are memory chargers. Hence black radish can function as a cerebellum supplement as a result of these essential minerals.
Black Radish Side Effects
As great as black radish extract is as a natural remedy for various conditions, some radish side effects may occur from its consumption. Here are some of them:
Anti-thyroid or Goitrogenic
All members of the cabbage family (black radish inclusive) can cause goiter because of their glucosinolate content. Goiter as a radish side effect occurs when the thyroid glands become enlarged as a result of iodine deficiency. When excess glucosinolate is consumed, it could disrupt the production and secretion of essential thyroid hormones. In the absence of these hormones, our body’s ability to burn and use energy is at risk (x).
Though black radish can fight off cancer, excess consumption can actually lead to cancer (x). When nitrite (a by-product of glucosinolate) is combined with amine forming N-nitroso compound, it could result in cancer. Furthermore, nitrates react with hemoglobin to form methemoglobin. A high blood level of methemoglobin can lead to cyanosis, which may cause bluish lips, cheeks and nails.
Also, take note that patients with gastritis, ulcers and thyroid problems shouldn’t use it. It is not recommended for people with gallbladder stones or obstruction and severe kidney or liver problems.
Black Radish Dosage
As a dietary supplement, take 1000 mg grams (heavy 1/3 tsp) daily, or as directed by a physician.
Why Take Black Radish Extract?
Black radish extract is an outstanding supplement which provides even more benefits during winter. If you suffer from recurrent symptoms of cough and flu, you should add black radish extract to your diet. Its respiratory and pulmonary health benefits are attributed to the presence of vitamin C, which fights free radicals.
Apart from our respiratory health, the various nutritious properties contained in the black radish extract are quite beneficial in alleviating many health issues. You can enjoy these health benefits of radish in the long run when you make the black radish supplements a part of your regimen.
The Bottom Line
The black radish extract isn’t getting as much attention as it deserves as a natural remedy for various health conditions. If you’re looking for a natural remedy that can boost your health, then the black radish supplement may be right for you. It offers an array of health benefits, from improving skin health and boosting the function of the liver to helping with cold and cough. It is also said to be an anti-cancerous and detoxification agent while having the ability to treat hyperthyroidism and aid weight loss.
By: Kusimo Temitayo
Graduate of Longwood University in Virginia. Part-time sports journalist covering the Vegas Golden Knights.