This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
B. P., not official. - The fresh root of the Coch-learia armoracia (nat. ord. Cruciferae).
Cultivated in the United States and Britain. It is most active in the autumn and early spring, before the leaves have appeared.
A long, cylindrical, fleshy root, enlarged at the upper end, where it is marked by the scars of fallen leaves, 12 to 25 mm. in diameter, and usually 30 cm. or more long. Pale yellowish or brownish-white externally; whitish and fleshy within. Taste very pungent. Inodorous unless bruised or scraped. Resembling Horse-Radish Root. -Aconite root, which is shorter, conical, not cylindrical, darker, and causes tingling and numbness when chewed.
The chief constituent is a substance which, by the action of an enzyme, yields a volatile oil, Butyl Sulphocyanide, C4H9Cns.
Horse-radish is a condiment, having the same action as mustard.. It has been used as a counter-irritant. The compound spirit B. P., scraped horse-radish root, 10; bitter orange peel, 10; nutmeg, 1; alcohol, 192; water, 196; dose, 1 to 2 fl. dr.; 4. to 8. c.c. is a pleasant flavoring and carminative agent.