Radish or Mulaka, a traditional medicine, is now not only known as a common vegetable but it is known as a vegetable with a set of nutrients and phytoconstituents. In Ayurveda, Mulaka is considered as an excellent source of wellness.
Ayurveda has been using Radish in several ailments in the form of juice, oil, soup, or its alkali preparation. Many studies have proved its digestive, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, anticancer, and antibiotic properties. Here is everything about Ayurvedic uses and benefits of Radish.
Radish or Mulaka – All you need to know
Radish is called as ‘Mulaka’ in Sanskrit. This word means a rhizome, stem which grows beneath the soil. This root crop is thought to be a native of Western Asia. Nowadays, it is cultivated throughout the world.
Radish is an annual herb having a 20-100cm long, branched, glabrous purple stem. Leaves are ovate and lobed with a toothed margin. Leaves and stems are stiffly hairy. The scented white or lilac flowers of Radish have dark veins. Fruits are inflated with a long tapering beak and are filled inside with light brown seeds. The root which we use as a vegetable is swollen, fleshy, and round to spindle-shaped.
Radish has numerous varieties, sizes, colors & shapes. The skin of Radish is of variable colors like red, purple, black, pink, white but its flesh is typically white. Root, leaf, & seed are the most used part of Radish in Ayurvedic medicine.
Properties of Radish in Ayurveda
Tender Radish tastes pungent, & slightly bitter. It is light to digest, has a heating effect, and quick acting property. It is slightly alkaline and pacifies Tridoshas.
Mature Radish, which is hard and difficult to chew, tastes pungent. It is heavy to digest, and has sharp-acting property. It shows heating effect in the body and increases secretion in body channels. Therefore, it vitiates all three doshas. But when it is fried or steamed, it pacifies vata and kapha dosha. Hence, you should avoid eating it raw.
What are the benefits of Radish?
In Ayurveda, Radish is used to treat urinary disorders, respiratory disorders, hemorrhoids, infections, skin diseases, and inflammatory conditions. Below are some of the most important benefits of Radish –
Stimulates appetite & aids in digestion
Radish is a delicious appetizer and improves poor digestion. It is also known for its high fiber content, along with plenty of water. Moreover, it shows laxative effects on the intestine. Hence, it is very effective in the treatment of piles and constipation.
Due to the antioxidant property of Radish, it is an excellent detoxifier of the liver. It not only removes bilirubin from blood but also stops its over-production in the liver. It also purifies the blood and enhances its oxygen-carrying capacity. Thus, it is instrumental in reducing blood toxicity, and curing skin diseases, jaundice, gall bladder, and liver diseases
Fights microbial infections
Raphanin, a phytoconstituent found in Radish, has sulphur containing oil. It is active against several bacteria and possesses broad-spectrum antibiotic effect. Thus, Radish is highly helpful in curing bacterial and fungal infections of eyes, throat, nose, and urinary tract.
Radish contains an antioxidant compound called sulforaphane. By its cytotoxic effects on cancer cells and cell-growth inhibition activity, sulforaphane is known to fight against prostate, breast, colon, kidney, stomach, and ovarian cancers. So, eating Radish can help you prevent several types of cancers to a large extent.
Helps in weight loss
Radish is a very low-calorie vegetable. Its low-fat content, high quantity of roughage, and water make Radish a good option for those determined to lose weight. Moreover, the spicy taste of Radish helps in scraping fatty tissues and maintains proper metabolism.
How to use Radish?
In an Asian kitchen, Radish is the most prized root vegetable. The root can be eaten both as raw and boiled. Leaves can also be eaten boiled or raw as a salad. But it is always best to eat it cooked rather than raw. Here are some other ways to use Radish for its healing potential –
- To ease the pain in Piles, crush dried Radish & put it in a cloth. Now use it to give fomentation on piles mass
- 50-100 ml juice of fresh Radish also can be given to reduce the pain of piles
- If you have a low appetite, then eat a few pieces of Radish before a meal. It improves appetite and increases the digestive power
- For the treatment of leucoderma, powder the radish seeds and soak in vinegar or ginger juice then apply on white patches
- You can also use Radish as an efficient skin cleanser. Smash a raw radish and apply as a face pack
- 2 grams of radish seed or seed powder taken with warm water is useful in gonorrhea, painful or burning sensation in urine
What is the correct dose of Radish?
Ayurvedic texts recommend consuming 10-20 ml fresh radish juice per day. You can also take the decoction of radish seeds or leaves in a quantity of 50-100ml. If you want to have Radish as soup, then 25-50ml is appropriate to consume in a day.
Mulaka kshara, i.e., alkali preparation of Radish, available in the market, could be taken in an amount of 1-3 gram. It is used for the treatment of kidney stones and painful urination. Radish is generally safe when taken in moderate amounts but in some people its overdose may cause gastric irritation.
We often discard the radish leaves, but it is a rich source of protein, calcium, iron, & vitamin C. So, always wash it well, and store separately to retain its moisture and nutrition. Try to eat fresh leaves rather than the stored ones.
Radish is a good diuretic, digestive, antioxidant, blood purifier, anti-hyperlipidemic, and antimicrobial agent. Radish as a vegetable has been used for a long time, but its use as medicine can surely take you a step further in preserving your health.