Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Raphanus sativus niger

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Raphanus sativus



Traditional name

Italian: Rafano
English: Black Garden Radish, Wild Radish

Used parts


Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Dilleniidae; Capparales; Cruciferae / Brassicaceae - Mustard Family



Original proving

Proved and introduced by Nussor in 1840; Allen: Encyclop. Mat. Med. Vol. VIII, 277; Hering: Guiding Symptoms, Vol. IX, 21.

Description of the substance

The name of this familiar garden plant is suggested by its colour, being derived from the Saxon, rude, rudo , or reod (ruddy), or from the Sanskrit rudhira , meaning blood. The genus is distinguished by its elongated pod, which has no longitudinal partition when ripe, but contains several seeds separated by a pithy substance filling the pod. The actual plant is unknown in a wild state, but is supposed to have come from Southern Asia, and may be descended from the wild Raphanus Raphanistrum of the Mediterranean shores, the long roots developing seeds sown in a loose soil, and the turniprooted kinds in a stiff soil. In the days of the Pharaohs, the Radish was extensively cultivated in Egypt, but apparently it did not reach Britain until A.D. 1548. Gerard mentions four varieties as being recognized in 1597. The leaves are rough and partly divided into segments, the outer one being larger and broader than the rest. The flower stem grows to about 3 feet in height, bearing medium-sized flowers that vary in colour from white to pale violet, with stronglymarked, dark veins. Structurally, it resembles the turnip, as the swollen, fleshy portion is really a stem which gradually passes downwards into the real root. Many kinds are named, the best known being (1) turnip-rooted, both red and white, including the white and black Spanish kinds; (2) oliveshaped, including the white, scarlet, and French breakfast forms; (3) the long, tapering varieties, like Long Red and Lady's Finger. The flesh is white, crisp, and tender, not specially nourishing, but valued as an antiscorbutic because of its quantity of nitrous juice. When too large for eating raw, they can be steamed for half an hour and served like asparagus. They should be well washed, but never peeled except when preparing the juice for medicinal purposes; in dry weather the bed should be watered the day before they are pulled. The young, green, seed-pods may be used for pickling, alone or with other vegetables, and are considered a fair substitute for capers.

 Physical Characteristics
Annual growing to 0.44999m by 0.2m at a fast rate. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees and flies. We rate it 3 out of 5 for usefulness.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation details
Very easily cultivated fast-growing plants which prefer a rich light soil with ample moisture[16, 52, 264]. They dislike very heavy or acid soils[16, 37]. Plants are susceptible to drought and require irrigation during dry spells in the summer or the root quality will rapidly deteriorate and the plant will go to seed.

Radishes are widely cultivated for their edible roots. There are many named varieties[183] that are able to supply edible roots all year round. Over the centuries a number of distinct groups have evolved through cultivation, these have been classified by the botanists as follows. A separate entry has been made for each group:-

R. sativus. The common radish. Fast maturing plants with small roots that can be round or cylindrical and usually have red skins. They are grown primarily for their roots which in some varieties can be ready within three weeks from sowing the seed and are used mainly in salads. These are mainly grown for spring, summer and autumn use and can produce a crop within a few weeks of sowing

R. sativus caudatus. The rat-tailed radishes. This group does not produce roots of good quality, it is cultivated mainly for the edible young seedpods which are harvested in the summer.

R. sativus niger. The Oriental and Spanish radishes. These are grown for their larger edible root which can be round or cylindrical and can be available throughout the winter.

R. sativus oleiformis. The fodder radishes. These are grown mainly for their leaves and oil-rich seeds, they are used as a green manure or stock feed though they can also be eaten by people. The roots of these plants soon become fibrous, though they make acceptable eating when young.

Radishes are a good companion plant for lettuces, nasturtiums, peas and chervil, tomatoes and cucumbers. They are said to repel cucumber beetles if planted near cucumber plants and they also repel the vine borers which attack squashes, marrows and courgettes. They grow badly with hyssop and with grape vines.

Seed - sow outdoors in situ in succession from late winter to the middle of summer. Germination takes place within a few days of sowing the seed. If you want a constant supply of the roots then you need to sow seed every 2 - 3 weeks.

'Cherry Belle'
A very fast-growing cultivar, the roots can be harvested just 23 days after sowing the seed. The root is small, round, very crisp and juicy.