The radish is a member of the mustard family, but is also related to cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and turnips. After this vegetable was introduced into Middle Asia from China in prehistoric times, many forms of the plant were developed. Even before the Egyptian pyramids were built, ancient records in Egypt indicate that radishes were a common food in that country. An ancient Greek physician wrote an entire book on radishes. In 1548, records show that people in England were eating radishes raw with bread or as a meat sauce. It is believed that Columbus introduced radishes to the Americas. They were seen in Mexico about 1500 and in Haiti in 1565, and were among the first vegetables grown by the colonists in this country.
Radishes are a cool season crop and, with long days and high temperatures, they go to seed. They can grow in all types of soil but may require readily available plant food. Some of the many varieties mature in twenty-one days, but the winter variety takes about sixty days. Radishes are marketed all year around, and the peak period is April through July. In the Orient, varieties are grown only for cooking, and in Egypt and the Near East a variety is grown for the green tops only. The American varieties, however, can be used for both roots and tops in salads, and cooked. Some of the larger varieties that are grown for pickling, cooking, and drying in the Orient are now being experimented with on the West Coast by Oriental gardeners. but they are used chiefly as a local product.
A good-quality radish is well-formed, smooth, firm, tender, and crisp, with a mild flavor. The condition of the leaves does not always indicate quality, for they may be fresh, bright, and green, while the radishes may be spongy and strong, or the leaves may be wilted and damaged in handling, while the radishes themselves may be fresh and not at all pithy. Old, slow-growing radishes are usually strong in flavor, with a woody flesh. Slight finger pressure will disclose sponginess or pithiness.
Benefits of Radish
Radishes are strongly diuretic and stimulate the appetite and digestion. The juice of raw radishes is helpful in catarrhal conditions. The mustard oil content of the radish makes it good for expelling gallstones from the bladder.
A good cocktail can be made with radishes. This cocktail will eliminate catarrhal congestion in the body, especially in the sinuses. It will also aid in cleansing the gall bladder and liver. To make this cocktail, combine one-third cucumber juice, one-third radish juice, and one-third green pepper juice. If desired, apple juice may be added to make this more palatable.
An excellent cocktail for nervous disorders is made from radish juice, prune juice, and rice polishings. This drink is high in vitamin B and aids in the flow of bile.
Nutrients in one pound
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