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During the Middle Ages, horseradish leaves and roots were used for treating asthma, arthritis, cancer and toothaches. When the ground root was made into a poultice and applied to the skin it would cause heat and irritation, which lends credence to the idea that it could stimulate the circulatory system. The leaves were also made into poultices and applied to the chest to help with colds and congestion. Tonics were used as an expectorant for coughs, sore throats and hoarseness.
Horseradish still plays a role in the medical field today: research is being conducted on the herb to explore the possibility that the compounds it holds may help prevent cancer. However, large doses of horseradish may irritate the stomach lining and induce vomiting.
Information courtesy of the Herb Society of America