They say that once you have Horseradish in your garden, you have it for life. And true enough, I have some which I dig up each year to turn into a cough syrup for the inevitable chest infection.
Horseradish is rich in natural anti-bacterial constituents, and has been shown to be as effective as antibiotics for bronchitis. Its well known ‘hotness’ helps to drive the cold and damp from the lungs. Now this doesn’t sound very scientific, but everyone who gets a cough in winter understands intuitively that the cold and damp “gets into our lungs”. I make a very soothing sweet spicy anti-biotic honey to relieve winter coughs, and it is so simple.
Dig up your horseradish and scrub it thoroughly. Then grate it finely (best done outdoors or with open windows). Place in a saucepan with some thyme which you harvested in high summer. Using fresh thyme now will give you a weak medicine because the volatile oils are at their lowest in the winter, and these are the constituents that we need to kill the bugs. So summer harvested thyme, or culinary thyme. Add half thyme and half horseradish to the saucepan, and then pour over some runny honey (hopefully locally sourced). Cover with a lid and very gently heat over the lowest heat on your cooker for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat but keep the lid on until cool. Add a little bit of hot water to loosen up the liquid and then strain into a jam jar.