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Horseradish is widely known for its pungent burning flavour. The pungency of horseradish is due to the release of allyl isothiocyanate and butylthiocyanate upon crushing (Yu et al 2001). These mustard oil constituents may irritate the mucous membranes upon contact or inhalation and may act as circulatory and digestive stimulants; however, the mechanism of action has not been fully elucidated (Blumenthal et al 2000, Jordt et al 2004). It has been found that topical application of allyl isothiocyanate to the skin activates sensory nerve endings producing pain, inflammation and hypersensitivity to thermal and mechanical stimuli due to

depolarising the same sensory neurons that are activated by capsaicin and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (Jordt et al 2004). CIRCULATORY STIMULANT

The mustard oils released when horseradish is crushed may be responsible for this activity.

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