Last night was my Herb Society meeting, our topic this month was horseradish, 2011 Herb of the Year. Now, you may think of horseradish as being a lowly little unimportant herb, used only as a condiment to beef, but let me tell you I learned differently. Myself, being part of the program and helping with refreshments I had to study up on it. This is a little of what I learned, for centuries this herb was thought of as medicine, not a condiment. The fresh root of horseradish has been used by herbalists as an internal and external medicine for centuries. The chief active constituent of it is mustard oil, and it also contains an antibiotic substance and vitamin c. It is a powerful stimulant to the digestive organs. It has often been used as a poultice to relieve aching joints and rheumatic pain. Horseradish is believed to be one of the more potent herbal diuretics. One favorite way to take it when you want to flush fluids out of your system is to mix it with white wine. A syrup made of grated horseradish, honey and water is one of the standard remedies for hoarseness. And last week on the tv show The Drs. they talked about to lighten dark spots on your skin you can used a little grated fresh horseradish mixed with a little lemon juice and white vinegar. Use it to help bleach out the discoloration. Its medicinal qualities goes on and on.
For my part of the refreshments, for our "centerpiece" I purchased this huge horseradish root and placed it in a vase with curly parsley around it. I found this cute herb fabric at Jo Ann Fabrics designed by Debbie Mumm and made a couple of simple table runners for the tables.
This is one.
At the meeting, someone made and brought these cute snails out of herb kitchen towels.