28 Aug 2009

A tale of radish past…

radishes in glassJust because they're beautiful…

Having searched (and failed) to find suitable recipes to honour our glut of radishes, I bring you instead…
Radish Folklore! (gleaned from Garden Action)

Apparently in the old days, when people had time to sit around and discover these things,
(probably when I was just a girl), lovers of the humble radish believed that eating them would stimulate the appetite, and be good for hair and nails, teeth, gums and nerves. (This one I can vouch for, being slightly tubby with all my own teeth and of a cheerful disposition.)

Tradition would have it that they help to speed up recuperation from nervous exhaustion. (Those living life in the fast lane should take note.) Constipation is eased by eating radishes. (Well, one never knows, does one? …)

Ancient wisdom reveals that whooping cough, asthma, and bronchitis have also been treated with the radish. Chronic liver and gallbladder disease, including gallstone and kidney stone afflictions, have responded by eating the whole plant. (Oh, surely not! the leaves are so prickly! - perhaps if they're cooked first? I leave you to experiment, should the need arise.)

Or, how about some medieval medical advice for baldness (found on KillerPlants.com - love that name). In 1597, John Gerard wrote in The Herbal: "The root stamped with hony (sic) and the powder of a sheepes heart dried, causeth haire to grow in short space."

Oo, what we did before trichologists (… or Marmite. Remember that ad, UK viewers?)


  1. Hi,

    A glut of radishes can easily be treated in this way:

    Leaves can be chopped finely and sauteed in olive oil together with a few cloves of chopped garlic and chillies. Use to dress cooked pasta, sprinkle generously with Pecorino (or other hard sheep cheese such as Manchego).

    The radishes themselves can also be treated in this way (sauteed in oil garlic and chili) but used as a side vegetable.

    Hope this helps!


  2. Hi Caterina! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm going to try your recipe - it sounds delicious (even though it's breakfast time here in UK)! I'll post the results and let you know.


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