This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Raphanus Rusticanus Pharm. Lond. & Edinb. & C. B. Cochlearia folio cubitali Tourn. Cochlearia Armoracia Linn, Horseradish: a plant resembling scurvygrass in the flowers and seeds, but differing in the leaves being very large and long, and indented about the edges. It is sometimes found wild about the fides of ditches and rivulets, but for medicinal and culinary uses is cultivated in gardens, It is perennial, flowers in June, rarely perfects its seeds, and is propagated from transverse cuttings of the roots.
Horseradish root affects the organs both of taste and smell with a quick penetrating pungency: it nevertheless contains in certain vessels a sweet juice, which sometimes exudes in little drops upon the surface. Its pungent matter is of a very volatile kind; being totally dissipated in drying, and carried off in evaporation or distillation both by water and rectified spirit: as the pungency exhales, the sweet matter of the root becomes more sensible, though this also is in great measure dissipated or destroyed. It impregnates both water and spirit, by infusion or by distillation, very richly with its active matter: in distillation with water it yields a small quantity of essential oil exceedingly penetrating and pungent. This root appears therefore to agree with scurvygrass and creffes, and to differ from mustard seed to which it is by some resembled, in the volatility of its pungent matter, and its solubility in spirit.
(a) Willis, Pharmaceutice rationalist P. II. Sect. iii. cap. 3.
Horseradish is a moderately stimulating, aperient, and antiseptic medicine: it sensibly pro-motes perspiration, urine, and the expectoration of vifcid phlegm, and excites appetite when the stomach is weakened or relaxed, without being so liable to produce immoderate heat, or inflammatory symptoms, as the stimulants of the aromatic kind. It is principally used in paralytic and rheumatic complaints, in scurvies and scorbutic impurities of the humours, in cachectic disorders, and in dropsies, particularly in those which follow intermitting fevers. . Taken in considerable quantities, it provokes vomiting.