Keratosis Treatment With Horseradish

In the search for treatments for skin conditions such as keratosis, a variety of natural remedies have been explored and evaluated based on their efficacy. When we say ‘natural’ it is primarily in reference to the use of herbs and plants for medicinal purposes.

Keratosis occurs when keratin, a fundamental protein essential to the formation of hair and nails, builds up in the skin causing a variety of symptoms. There are four basic types of keratosis: seborrheic keratosis also known as ‘seborrheic verucca’ and ‘senile wart’ is a benign growth that is most often seen as people age. The lesions which form often resemble warts ranges in size from very small to one inch; hydrocarbon primarily affects those persons who work in situations which expose them to ‘polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons’, these include persons who work in highway maintenance, in roofing, shale extraction, etc.; actinic keratosis, also known as ‘solar or senile keratosis’ is a premalignant condition. It produces thick, scaly or crusty patches of skin which, if left untreated runs a significant risk of evolving into cancer. Most common among fair skinned people as well as those who are constantly exposed to the sun, it appears on the face, ears, neck, scalp and forearms; keratosis pilaris is a follicular condition which produces tiny, reddish bumps on the skin which has earned it the name of ‘chicken skin’. It appears on any part of the body except the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

Treatment of keratosis varies from the application of medicated creams and lotions to surgery to traditional medicine. Among the options explored is the horseradish plant. The origin of this plant is generally unknown with speculation that it originated either in Hungary or Russia. It is one of what is known as the five bitter herbs, the others being coriander, horehound, lettuce and nettle. It comes from the same family as cabbages, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Horse radish has a number of medicinal uses. It has been used to treat sinus infections; it has proven to be an antibiotic, a diuretic used to treat kidney stones, bladder infections; it has been used for indigestion; preparations using horseradish can also deal with lung problems, coughs and asthma. It can be used for rheumatic and arthritic conditions. It is well known as a skin treatment, removing spots and blemishes by applying a preparation consisting of the root, a dairy product and glycerin to the affected areas.

There is no scientific evidence that states that horseradish works on the symptoms of keratosis and so use of it must be approached with some skepticism. If you are going to use it however, always use it fresh, after a while, once it is grated it loses its potency. Never cook it as this diminishes both the medicinal effect and flavor.

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