Though the horseradish plant produces lush green leaves and grows to be nearly three feet tall, only the root is used. It is more pungent than its botanical relatives— which include cabbage and broccoli—because it provides a higher concentration of mustard oil.
This gives the horseradish root its strong flavor and is also responsible for the root's curative properties. Horseradish is a folk remedy for flu, sore throat and bronchitis. It is used to prepare teas, tinctures and syrups and is also eaten as a condiment. Externally, horseradish can be applied as a poultice to stimulate blood circulation. Like other cruciferous vegetables, it has components that may protect against cancer.
This preparation may help age spots and fade freckles. To make the vinegar, grate a 4-in. piece of horseradish root and combine it with 1 pt. of cider vinegar. Let the mixture steep for 14 days, shaking it often. Strain the mixture, and apply the vinegar directly to the skin twice daily for a few weeks.