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Radish (Mooli): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

By Dr Anuja Bodhare +2 more

Introduction:  

The common radish is scientifically known as Raphanus sativus L. It belongs to the family Brassicaceae. It is considered a root vegetable as it can store starch and other bioactive compounds. The shape of radish resembles actual roots. Its colour varies from white in Asia to red and different colours (green, purple and black) in Europe, although its flesh is white in most Asian and European countries. The intense flavour and diverse tastes of radish are owing to an essential compound known as isothiocyanate. Due to this characteristic flavour and taste, it is popular in countries such as Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines.1 

radish benefits

Nutritional Value of Radish: 

Radish is a low-calorie vegetable and a good source of a wider range of nutrients.1 

Nutritional components Value per 100mg 
Energy 16 kcal 
Protein 0.68 g 
Total lipid (fat) 0.1 g 
Total saturated fatty acids 0.032 g 
Carbohydrate, by the difference 3.4 g 
Total dietary fibre 1.6 g 
Total sugars 1.86 g 
Calcium 25 mg 
Magnesium 10 mg 
Phosphorus 20 mg 
Iron 0.34 mg 
Potassium 233 mg 
Sodium 39 mg 
Zinc 0.28 mg 
Copper 0.05 mg 
Vitamin K 1.3  µg 
Vitamin C 14.8 mg 
Thiamine 0.012 mg 
Riboflavin 0.039 mg 
Niacin 0.254 mg 
Vitamin B6 0.071 mg 
Total folate 25  µg 

Table 1: Nutritional components of radish per 100 grams2  

Also Read: Bottle Gourd: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

In my perspective, radish might be a powerhouse of nutrients that may offer multiple health benefits. They are packed with antioxidants, calcium, and potassium, all of which may contribute to lowering high blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. Additionally, radishes are a natural source of nitrates, which might improve blood flow throughout the body.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Properties of Radish: 

Bioactive compounds such as polyphenols, glucosinolates and isothiocyanates contribute to the beneficial potential of radish.1,3 It is also used as a remedy in Indian, Unani and Greeko-Arab to manage various conditions.4 The potential properties of radish are: 

  • May have blood pressure-lowering potential  
  • May be potentially Heart-protective  
  • May have anti-microbial (reduces the growth of micro-organisms) potential  
  • Mat be a potential anti-oxidant1  
  • May have anti-cancer (prevents the growth of cancer cells) potential  
  • May be potentially Liver-protective  
  • May have Anxiety-reducing potential.3  

Also Read: Karela (Bitter Gourd): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

From what I have seen and read, radish may have great benefits for the urinary and kidney function. Thus, by including radishes in your diet, you may contribute to the overall health of your urinary and kidney systems.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: White Radish: Uncovering Its Nutritional Benefits And Uses

Potential Uses of Radish: 

The extracts of radish may be used to manage many conditions.1 Let’s read on to see how munching on some radish can make you healthier. 

1. Potential uses of radish for diabetes  

Many studies show that radish extract contains antioxidants such as polyphenols that enhance insulin secretion. Further, radish extract was observed to potentially inhibit enzymes (glucosidase) that converts starch into simple sugars. It may augment the defence mechanism with its antioxidant activity, may reduce lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress. This may indicate that it may be helpful in maintaining energy metabolism and glucose uptake and may reduce glucose absorption in the blood.4However, Before using radishes or any other herbal remedies for diabetes, have a consultation with your Ayurvedic doctor provider so that he can guide you with correct choices. 

2. Potential uses of radish (Mooli) for liver  

Several studies have recorded the potential beneficial effects of radish extract for the liver. In a study, the bioactive compounds in radish root and sprouts were found to reduce the seriousness of fatty liver disease in animal models. In another study on animal models, black radish extracts exhibited liver protective effects. Further, the administration of a radish extract resulted in reduced oxidative stress and prevented fat accumulation. The effects shown by radish could be credited to the antioxidant activity of bioactive compounds present in radish extracts.  

Therefore, it may help with the decrease in the levels of enzymes that indicate liver damage and the reduced levels of lipids and cholesterol suggest that radishes might indeed have potential benefits for liver. 3 Further studies are needed to establish benefits of radish for human liver. If you are suffering from any liver related issues, consult your doctor before using radish or any other herbal remedies. 

3. Potential uses of radish for cancer  

Due to presence of secondary metabolites such as glucosinolates, eating may have benefits that may help people with cancer. Detoxification enzymes, prevention of cell cycle progression, activation of apoptosis (cell death) are the potential anticancer mechanism may be exhibited by bioactive compounds present in radish as per studies. These are responsible for anticancer activity of radish against different types of cancer cell lines.3  

Cancer is a severe medical condition which requires medical diagnosis and treatment. Before using any herb or fruit, consult your doctor.   

4. Potential uses of radish for hair  

In a study conducted on animal models, it has been shown that saponins extracted from radish may be helpful with the loss of human hair. The radish crude saponin-treated group demonstrated the potential benefits for hair follicles (HFs) in the deep part of the skin and may ultimately develop HFs corresponding to the anagen phase (or active phase) of the hair-growth cycle.5 The benefits of radish are not sufficiently studied for human hair. If you face hair fall, reach out to your healthcare provider for a consultation.  

Though the studies above show the benefits of radish in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of herb on human health.   

Also Read: Cauliflower: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More!

How to Use Radish? 

The edible part of radish is mainly its roots. Also, we can eat its leaves, pods, seeds, flowers and sprouts of radish in various forms.1,3 Radish can be used in the following ways: 

  • Roots of radish are eaten in salads or cooked with other vegetables. 
  • Roots of radish are also used in curries. 
  • Processed radish roots are consumed in Asia as dried roots or canned pickles.1,3 
  • You can also blend a bit of radish with other tastier vegetables in your smoothies for some colour and a hint of its distinct taste.  

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Side Effects of Radish: 

In a study on animal models, it has been seen that feeding animals with high quantities of radish led to certain side effects on the thyroid glands and its functioning as described as follows: 

  • Reduced levels of thyroid hormone 
  • Increase in weight of thyroid gland 
  • Decrease in the activity of thyroid peroxidase 
  • Increase in thyrotropin level (a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland) similar to the condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones even after administration of iodine.6 

Therefore, we should take care while consuming radish in large quantities and it is better to enjoy it in moderate amounts.6 Moreover, if you observe discomfort or any other uncomfortable symptoms on eating radish, you must consult your Ayurvedic physician. They will be able to assess the situation and guide you regarding the course of action further. Even natural preparations can show specific side effects on individuals as everyone’s body reacts differently to certain compounds present in them. 

Also Read : Daikon Radish Benefits: A Comprehensive Guide to Nutritional Advantages

Precautions to Take with Radish: 

Radish is generally considered to be safe if it is taken in the recommended dosages and as food. However, general precautions should be followed while consuming radish. Please do not try to treat yourself by consuming herbs. Ayurvedic herbs may have potential benefits, but it is advisable to consult a qualified Ayurvedic physician before taking any herb for its health benefits.  

Studies on animal models show that having too much radish can cause an increase in the level of thyrotropin. 6 However, no valid study provides evidence on safety precautions to be followed with radish extracts. However, extra care needs to be taken by pregnant women, lactating mothers, children, and older people while having radish. In case of any unusual symptoms, immediately consult your Ayurvedic physician.  

Interactions With Other Drugs: 

We cannot deny the possibility of certain drugs reacting with herbs and food like radish. Therefore, it is essential to consult your Ayurvedic physician before consuming any herbal item in more than regular quantities. Your Ayurvedic physician can appropriately modify the dosage and prescribe as per your current medications, conditions, and requirements.  

Also Read: Pudina: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Is it OK to eat radish every day?  

The root is usually consumed in the diet as pickles, salads or cooked in curries, but it may develop conditions like hypoactive thyroid gland (where your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones). So, radish should be eaten in a moderate amount.6  

Is radish good for the liver?  

Yes. There are several potential benefits of radish for the liver stated in studies. It may help to manage lipids and cholesterol levels and may potentially reduce oxidative stress due to its bioactive compounds. Several animal studies documented the benefits of radish in fatty liver disease, liver cancer owing to its liver-protective properties.3 However these studies are insufficient to identify the benefits of radish for liver in humans. You must always consult your doctor for advice. 

Is radish (Mooli) beneficial for hair growth?  

Yes. The extract of radish contains saponins that may help with human hair fall. Animal studies have shown its ability to increase the number of hair follicles by supporting the active phase of hair growth.5 But further studies are needed to understand its actual potential for human hair. 

What are the advantages of radish for cancer?  

Studies show that radish has many potential benefits against cancer due to its anti-cancer properties. Cancer is a serious medical condition that may need medical diagnosis and treatment. Before using any herb or fruit for such conditions you must consult your doctor for accurate advice. 3 

Are radishes healthier cooked or raw?  

There is no scientific evidence validating whether eating radishes raw or cooked is more beneficial. However, there are similar benefits to eating raw radish and cooked radish. 

References: 

  1. Gamba M, Asllanaj E, Raguindin PF, Glisic M, Franco OH, Minder B, et al. Nutritional and phytochemical characterization of radish (Raphanus sativus): A systematic review. Trend Food Sci Technol. 2021 Jul 1;113:205-18. Available from: https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S0924224421003058?token=8341ECAF601E38033D030697CCF17B84BE379F4CE340CE791A2674DC4B8739101583CBD6CA6D4FFD7CBAFD0483428559&originRegion=eu-west-1&originCreation=20220607121326  
  1. US Department of Agriculture [Internet]. Radish, raw; 2020 Oct 30 [cited 2022 June 8]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103374/nutrients 
  1. Manivannan A, Kim JH, Kim DS, Lee ES, Lee HE. Deciphering the Nutraceutical Potential of Raphanus sativus-A Comprehensive Overview. Nutrients. 2019 Feb 14;11(2):402. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/2/402 
  1. Banihani SA. Radish (Raphanus sativus) and Diabetes. Nutrients. 2017 Sep 14;9(9):1014. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/9/1014 
  1. Kim HK. Hair Growth Promoting Effect of Radish Crude Saponin Extract on Athymic Nude Mice. Int J Adv Smart Converg. 2019 March 31;8(1):184-95. Available from: https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO201909258119891.page 
  1. Chandra AK, Mukhopadhyay S, Ghosh D, Tripathy S. Effect of radish (Raphanus sativus Linn.) on thyroid status under conditions of varying iodine intake in rats. Indian J Exp Biol. 2006 Aug 1;44(8):653-61. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16924836/ 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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