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1. a coarse Eurasian plant, Armoracia rusticana, cultivated for its thick white pungent root: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)
2. the root of this plant, which is ground and combined with vinegar, etc., to make a sauce
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
In mustard family, grows up to 5ft (1.5m) Leaves are healthy and nutritious, but the root is the commonly used part, which has no smell until cut. Once grated, it needs to be immediately mixed with vinegar (like apple cider vinegar, not white distilled vinegar), or it will oxidize, lose its potency and become bitter. Can be mixed with wet mustard seed for strong mustard. Potent antibacterial properties. Simply grating some root in blender or coffee grinder and sniffing deeply will clear nose and sinuses like nothing else. Also used for urinary tract infections, bronchitis, sinus congestion, ingrown toenails, coughs, warming a cold body and rubbing on sore muscles. One way to identify a plant from the mustard family (all of which are edible) is the flowers have 4 petals with 6 stamens–4 tall and 2 short.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
Armoracia rusticana. A perennial crucifer belonging to the order Capparales and grown for its pungent roots, used as a condiment.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.