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Radish: Properties and Benefits, Types, Uses and Contraindications

What is Radish

If you are a lover of vegetables, especially radish, I invite you to continue reading to learn about its main characteristics, nutritional properties, health benefits, consumption options, possible contraindications, the types of radish that exist, and the season of the year where you can find them, as well as frequently asked questions related to their cultivation and storage.

What is radish?

Radish, also known as radish, rabanete, or daikon in the Asian region, is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae or Cruciferous family, whose scientific name is Raphanus sativus. It is a cool-season tuber that ripens quickly and is easy to grow. The radish usually consumed is the root, but its leaves, flowers, and seeds are also edible in some areas. This tuber is almost always eaten raw.

There is a wide variety of radishes, and each one shows differences in shape, color, size, and growth strategies.

Characteristics and fun facts about radish

Characteristics and fun facts about radish

  • The standard radish is red on the outside and white on the inside, although there are another pink, yellow, gray, and purple varieties. The first radish is said to have been black in color.
  • It is a root that grows in a round shape and reaches the approximate size of a ping-pong or golf ball.
  • Its slightly spicy flavor and crunchy texture make radish a very special tuber.
  • It belongs to the cruciferous family, and it is considered a cousin of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, turnip, cauliflower, and many other vegetables.
  • Radish is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, K, B vitamins, beta-carotene, folates, magnesium, and calcium, among other micronutrients.

Radish health benefits and properties

First of all, radish is a cruciferous vegetable rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other essential compounds for good health. It is not for fun that people are talking more and more about the importance of including family vegetables in our diet.1.

Specifically, in the case of radish, it has been observed that thanks to its fiber, water, and nutrient content, this tuber has properties :

  • Digestive
  • Antioxidants
  • Immunostimulants
  • Satiating
  • Moisturizers
  • Expectorants
  • Detoxifying
  • Slimming
  • Anti-carcinogens
  • Anti-fungal

Its consumption is considered beneficial for:

  • Protect liver, kidney, heart, and digestive health
  • Relieve symptoms caused by cold, flu, and sinusitis
  • Promote good skin health
  • Strengthen defenses and activate the immune system
  • Fight constipation, among other uses.

Let’s see below what these properties are due to and what science thinks about it …

1. Supports immune function

This is one of the main benefits that we can obtain if we eat radish regularly. Many are unaware that it is a tuber rich in vitamin C; ½ cup of radish provides almost 15% of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the health of our immune system and other vital processes of the body, including regulating metabolism, reducing oxidative damage, and creating collagen2 3.

2. Helps fight jaundice

In short, jaundice is a condition that occurs due to excess bilirubin, the main symptom of which is the yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin. 4 . It has been observed that eating radishes can be very useful in treating jaundice thanks to their ability to eliminate excess bilirubin and maintain its production at a stable level. IItsconsumption favors the supply of fresh oxygen to the blood and reduces red blood cells that patients with this condition experience5.

The black radish, including its leaves, seems to be the best variant to fight jaundice. A study found that Spanish black radishes contain four times more glucosinolates ( sulfuric compounds present in crucifers ) than other varieties6. This increases its detoxifying and purifying effect, favoring low toxicity levels, better elimination of waste, and the acceleration of metabolism.

See below: Black Radish – Properties, Benefits, Contraindications, Uses and How to take

3. Protects the liver and gallbladder

Radish is especially beneficial in maintaining proper liver and gallbladder function, as it contains essential enzymes such as myrosinase, diastase, amylase, and esterase. Its consumption helps regulate the production and flow of bile, bilirubin, acids, and liver enzymes7.

According to an animal study, white radish enzyme extract may provide protection against hepatotoxicity . Another similar study indicated that black radish juice helped to eliminate cholesterol gallstones, in addition to reducing triglycerides and increasing good cholesterol. This juice is known to be a very popular remedy for destroying gallbladder stones, especially in Mexico.8.

* Preparation of radish and lemon juice to fight gallstones. It is recommended to cut 1-2 radishes into small pieces, add them to the blender, and beat them with a little water and the juice of 1 lemon. The resulting juice should be taken on an empty stomach for at least 20 days to promote the disintegration of the stones in the gallbladder.

4. It is useful against constipation

Being a vegetable rich in water and dietary fiber, radish adds considerable bulk to bowel movements, promotes regular bowel movements, and relieves constipation. It has also been seen that frequent consumption of radishes prevents excess gas, fights the proliferation of parasites, and favors the natural production of bile.

5. Relieves and prevents hemorrhoids

Once again, its fiber and water content are responsible for this benefit. Considering that eating radishes can promote digestion, prevent fluid retention, and combat constipation, many recommend it as a remedy for hemorrhoids. In addition, its detoxifying effect prevents the formation of accumulations in the intestine, helping to calm the annoying symptoms of this condition.9.

6. Helps to stay well hydrated

Because radishes are high in water content, they are considered an excellent source of hydration in the diet. A 100 gram serving of fresh radish contains approximately 95 grams of water10. Eating radish and other vegetables rich in water (cucumber, lettuce, chard) is a simple and effective strategy to prevent dehydration, constipation, indigestion, and inadequate absorption of nutrients.

7. Protects the health of the kidneys

Thanks to its diuretic and detoxifying effect, radishes help treat and prevent various kidney disorders. The most important benefits in this regard are its ability to promote the elimination of toxins accumulated in the kidneys and blood and prevent bacterial infections and the formation of kidney stones.11.

It should also be noted that radish is a vegetable low in potassium and phosphorus. Hence it is considered a safe food for people undergoing hemodialysis treatment. These patients are known to need to reduce their intake of both minerals12 13.

8. Relieves urinary tract problems

The diuretic nature of radish increases our urine production, and therefore, we eliminate more toxins through it. In the presence of a urinary infection, drinking radish juice is an excellent remedy for relieving inflammation and burning sensation during urination.

9. Promotes the health of the cardiovascular system

Radishes are rich in anthocyanins, a type of flavonoids to which numerous health benefits are attributed14. In fact, they have been linked to a reduction in the incidence of the most common cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory processes in the body. But these are not the only compounds to consider; radish is rich in vitamin C, folic acid, and various minerals that support good heart health. Relaxing blood vessels, increasing blood flow, and regulating blood pressure are other healthy effects.15.

10. Serves to relieve respiratory conditions

In fact, this is one of the main medicinal uses for the tuber. Thanks to the decongestant power of its pungent compounds, it is often used to eliminate excess mucus in the throat and sinuses. Eating radish or drinking its juice not only helps reduce congestion in the respiratory system and soothe the irritation of the nose and throat in cases of cold, but it is also effective against infections, allergies, bronchitis, and asthma16.

A very popular decongestant remedy is to prepare radish water . Add 100 grams of radish to 1 liter of hot water and let it steep overnight. Drink this water (like plain water) several times the next day until symptoms improve or disappear. You can add a little honey and a pinch of cinnamon to enhance its effect and improve the flavor.

11. Acts as a natural skin protector

Eating radishes regularly also support good skin health and appearance. It is content of vitamin C (promoter of collagen), phosphorus, zinc, B complex vitamins, and water help to hydrateregenerate and nourish the different layers of the skin. It can also be very useful in treating some disorders, such as dry skin, rashes, and cracks.

12. Boost recovery after an insect bite

Applying radish juice is a good remedy to reduce pain and swelling in the area affected by an insect sting, especially bee stings. This healing effect is due to its anti-itch and disinfectant properties.

13. Improves the appearance of white patches caused by vitiligo/leukoderma

Radish, especially its seeds, is a good remedy for restoring the white patches’ natural color caused by this chronic condition.17. The seeds contain the highest concentration of compounds. Hence it is the most used part. You only need to mix about 25 grams of powdered radish seeds with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir to form a fine paste. Then this paste should be applied to the leukoderma spots, repeating every day for several months.

14. Supports a weight loss plan

Trying to lose weight? The good news is that radishes can satisfy your appetite without dramatically increasing the number of calories you eat during the day. Being low in carbohydrates but rich in fiber and water, they are a great alternative for losing weight. Its diuretic properties and revitalizing effect on the liver ( making fat disappear before they join the tissue ) also favor the process. To lose weight faster, it is recommended to drink radish water or natural radish juice several times a day, in combination with a balanced diet and a training plan.

15. It is a good ally against diabetes

Radishes have a low glycemic index. Hence they can be part of a diabetic’s diet without causing spikes in blood glucose. They have also been observed to help regulate the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream thanks to their fiber content and improve lipid metabolism through the action of various lowering compounds of glucose, fructosamine, and glycoalbumin18.

Do not forget that this non-starchy vegetable can improve the antioxidant defense mechanism and reduce the accumulation of free radicals in the body, thus helping to avoid frequent complications and prevent the development of diabetes in the first place.19.

16. May have an impact on cancer prevention

Due to its content of vitamin C, folic acid, anthocyanins, and its detoxifying power, this root vegetable has been linked to the prevention and treatment of many types of cancer, particularly colon, kidney, intestinal, oral, and stomach. In addition, it is believed that its antioxidants and isothiocyanate compounds may play a role in the destruction of cancer cells by altering their genetic pathways and causing apoptosis (cell death).20.

Different studies have reported that cruciferous vegetables, the family to which radish belongs, are naturally endowed with anti-cancer properties 21.

Radish nutritional information

Like many other vegetables, radish offers a good nutritional contribution without increasing the number of calories in our diet. This makes it an excellent ally for those who want to lose weight and eat healthily. If you want to take advantage of its nutritional properties, and at the same time, add an extra flavor to your meals, include it in your salads, stews, and soups.

In general, in a basic portion of raw radish (100 grams), we can find the following nutritional values:

  • Total carbohydrates: 3.4 grams
  • Fiber: 1.6 grams
  • Sugars: 1.86 grams
  • Proteins : 0.70 – 1 grams
  • Fat : 0.1 grams
  • Total calories: 16 – 17

Regarding the content of vitamins present in radishes, its contribution of:

  • Vitamin C (14.8 mg or 36% of the RDA)
  • B-complex vitamins, such as vitamin B1 or thiamine (3% of the RDA), vitamin B2 or riboflavin (2% of the RDA), vitamin B3 or niacin (3%), vitamin B6 (5%), and vitamin B9 or folate (12%).
  • Vitamin K (2% of the recommended daily dose)

Among the most abundant minerals are potassium (233 mg), calcium (25 mg), sodium (21 mg), phosphorus (20 mg), magnesium (10 mg), iodine (1.20 mg), iron (0.34 mg) and zinc (0.28 mg). Other less abundant minerals in this tuber are copper and manganese.

On the other hand, it contains an extensive list of amino acids, among which glutamic acid, aspartic acid, leucine, lysine, arginine, valine, and isoleucine, among others, stand out. They all combine to form radish proteins.

How to take advantage of the properties of radish?

Although it seems like the most obvious option, don’t limit yourself to using radishes only in salads. Its spicy flavor lends itself well to include in many recipes. Here are some suggestions to start eating it more frequently and take advantage of its excellent properties.

  1. Add thin slices of radish to your sandwiches.
  2. Make a dressing by mixing 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup radishes, minced garlic clove, and a splash of vinegar in a food processor until smooth and homogeneous.
  3. Add several shredded radishes to your favorite kale or cabbage salad.
  4. Prepare a rich tuna or chicken salad with chopped radishes, olives, and onion.
  5. Include thin slices of crispy radish in tacos and tortillas.
  6. Lightly cook several radishes on the grill to use as a garnish with a hamburger or steak.
  7. Chop 2-3 sliced ​​radishes and place them on a plate of cream or soup.
  8. Make your own homemade version of pickled radish.

When preparing radishes at home, don’t throw out the green parts. The radish leaf is very similar to any other leaf in its family ( turnip, mustard, kale) and can be eaten in salads or stir-fries.

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Non-medicinal uses of radish

In some regions, radish seeds are subjected to an industrial process that allows the extraction of radish seed oil. Wild radish seeds contain up to 48% oil, and although it is not suitable for human consumption, it is a potential source of biofuel.

The harvest of the daikon in cold climates is often used as a cover crop to increase the fertility of the soil, suppress weeds, alleviate compaction of the soil and prevent erosion caused by winter.

How to consume radish?


Radishes are very versatile in the kitchen. For starters, its spicy flavor and crunchy texture make it an excellent addition to a mixed salad with other raw vegetables, for example, cucumber, tomato, spinach. But this is only the best-known way to consume radish, and it can actually be used in several ways.

  • Sauteed radish: radishes can be sautéed like any other vegetable, preferably using butter and a little salt. This is an attractive idea for those who do not like the taste of raw radish. To sauté them, heat the oil or butter in a pan over medium heat, add the radishes cut into slices or squares, add salt to taste, and cook until golden and tender. Black radish and daikon are the most commonly used types for stir fry.
  • Roasted Radish: This is another great way to consume radishes and other vegetables. They should be cut into slices or in half, placed on a baking sheet, add enough oil, salt, pepper, and other spices of your choice, mix well so that the radishes are impregnated with these flavors, and leave to cook in the oven at 350 – 400ºF for 30-40 minutes. When roasting radishes with other vegetables, choosing similar textures is important to ensure the same cooking time. Two good companions for roasted radish are carrot and turnip.
  • Stewed radish is a cooking alternative that allows you to consume tender radishes without losing the crunchy texture. To do this, heat a little oil in a container, add the radishes cut into slices and seasoned to taste, lightly sauté and then add a little water or another liquid (chicken broth, beef, vegetables). Cook for approximately 5 minutes, over low heat, and covered until the radishes are tender; Then, you must remove the lid, raise the heat to be medium, and cook for several more minutes to finish using the liquid.
  • Fermented radish: Although the fermentation process tends to fade the vibrant color of radishes, this effect will be offset by the resulting potency of flavor. Any type of radish can be used, from the French Breakfast variety in the spring to the Asian Daikon in the winter. To ferment radishes, they must first be washed well and their ends trimmed without peeling them.
    They are then cut into approximately 1 cm slices and placed in a wide-mouthed glass container. Next, the fermentation brine is made; A little salt should be dissolved in room temperature water (the amount of water and salt depends on the number of radishes) to pour over the radish slices, leaving 1/2 inch or more free space. It is important that the brine completely covers the radish and that the container is well covered. Now it must be left to ferment at room temperature for at least 6 days. If, after this time, the radishes are still not sour enough, they can be left to ferment for longer, up to 2 weeks in total.
  • Steamed Radish / Boiled Radishes are a straightforward way to prepare and consume this root vegetable. It is only necessary to place thin radish slices in a steamer over boiling water or other boiling preparation, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Alternatively, the slices can be placed in a water bowl to cook for 10-15 minutes. Steamed or boiled radishes are a good option to add to salads, soups, and stews.
  • Radish chips: it is a way of consuming radish very similar to roasted radish, but in this case, you must cut finer slices to get that toasted chip effect that we like so much. The oven should be preheated to 400ºF, while the radish slices are cut and seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil. They should then be placed on a tray not to overlap each other and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they acquire the desired crisp texture. Radish chips can serve as a snack or side to a low-carb meal.
  • Pesto or radish sauce: The spicy flavor of radishes can serve as inspiration to make a delicious homemade sauce, mixing them with other ingredients, such as red and green peppers, cucumber, lime juice, coriander, or parsley. Radishes, bell pepper, cucumber, and fresh coriander or parsley leaves should be finely chopped, all added to a blender/food processor, adding a pinch of salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste. It only remains to beat very well until it reaches a fine and creamy texture. If you want to prepare a powerful sauce similar to wasabi, it is better to resort to horseradish.

Radish cream cleansing recipe:

Contraindications and side effects

The main contraindication attributed to radish is its anti-thyroid action. Common radish, black radish, other types of radish, and the different species in the cabbage family, contain glucosinolates22, a class of compounds that induce goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland caused by an iodine deficiency)23. When you cut or chew radish, glucosinolates are broken down into isothiocyanate, oxazolidine-2-thione, nitrite, and thiocyanate ions, substances that interfere with the normal production and secretion of our essential thyroid hormones.

Other side effects and contraindications of excessive consumption of radish include:

  • Gastric irritation. Allyl isothiocyanate is a sulfur compound present in radish that can irritate the stomach lining.
  • Allergic reaction. Radish contains a glucosinolate byproduct known as diallyl sulfide, classified as an allergen and a potential irritant to many people. The allergy usually begins on the fingertips but cannot be prevented by wearing gloves because the compound penetrates most commercial-type gloves. It can cause rhinitis, contact dermatitis, allergic asthma, and anaphylactic shock in susceptible people.24

Another caveat to keep in mind is that some studies have linked excessive consumption of nitrite (a by-product of glucosinolate) with an increased risk of stomach and thyroid cancer in certain people. 25 26

In summary, eating a lot of radishes is not recommended if:

  • You suffer from hypothyroidism/goiter
  • You suffer from gastritis
  • You have a fatty duodenal ulcer
  • You have a known allergy to this tuber or other vegetables in its family

Tips and Precautions

  • Do not eat 2 servings of vegetables from the same family at one meal, e.g., radish with broccoli, cabbage, turnip, Brussels sprouts, and ale; otherwise, you will likely receive a significant dose of glucosinolates.
  • Eat small portions of radish.
  • Do not consume it every day, especially if you have hypothyroidism.
  • Alternate between raw radish and other preparations that include cooking.
  • See a doctor in the presence of any allergic symptoms after eating radishes.

Radish types

As mentioned above, there are many radish varieties classified according to the growing season: spring, spring, or summer, and winter radishes. Other characteristics are also considered for this classification, for example, the color, size, and shape of the root.

Spring radishes

The spring radishes, or European, are those that are planted in climates of cool temperature; They are among the first vegetables to be sown in this season since they mature quite quickly (around 30 days). What distinguishes spring radish is its mild flavor and very crunchy texture.

  • Burpee White: 25 days to harvest, round shape, white and smooth skin.
  • Champion: 28 days to harvest, large round red radish.
  • Cherry Belle: 22 days to harvest, round red radish, very similar to Champion but with smaller roots and a stronger flavor.
  • Cherry Queen Hybrid: 24 days of harvest, radish of deep red color and round shape.
  • Early Scarlet Globe: 23 days of harvest, bright red radish that grows in a balloon shape.
  • Easter Egg or Easter Eggs: 25 days of harvest, large radish with oval shape, obtained by mixing different types, for example, white, pink, red, and purple radishes.
  • Fire candle: 25 days to harvest, round radish, deep red in color, and elongated or conical.
  • Purple plum: 25 days of harvest, radish purple-fuchsia color, round shape, and large size; its crunchy texture is usually more durable than other types of radish.
  • Snow Belle: 30 days of cultivation, round radish, completely white skin, and smooth texture.

Spring and summer radishes

Its cultivation requires exposure to the sun and moist or fertile soil. Early varieties generally grow best on cool days in early spring, but some late-maturing varieties can be planted in the summer.

  • French Breakfast or French breakfast: 23 days of harvest, red elongated radish, and white tip; holds up and grows better in the summer heat than other types.
  • Icicle, white icicle, or icicle: 25 days of culture, white radish, elongated and conical similar to the carrot (10-12 cm long).

Other popular variants of these radishes are Daikon (Asia), Bunny Tail (Italy), Sicily Giant (Sicily), Gala, and Roodbol (Netherlands).

Winter radishes

Winter radishes are classified into 3 varieties: Japanese, Chinese, and European. They are larger and spicier vegetables than spring radishes; they can grow to 20 pounds. In fact, they take much longer to harvest, between 50 and 70 days. They are typically planted in late summer, just like fall turnips, so that they can ripen before winter sets in.

  • China Rose: 52 days of harvest, radish of pink color and elongated shape, with white flesh and spicy flavor.
  • Chinese White: 60 days of harvest, white radish, large and long, with a blunt tip.
  • Round black Spanish, Spanish black or black radish: 55 days of harvest, black radish, with rough skin and white flesh.
  • Tama hybric or Tama Hybrid: 70 days of harvest, daikon type radish, smooth, white, and blunt tip, with roots up to 18 inches and 3 inches in diameter.

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Does radish make you fat?

Being a very low-calorie tuber, radish not only does not make you fat, but it can be a good ally for those who want to lose weight and follow a healthy diet plan. A 100 gram serving of radish only has about 16 calories. Replacing foods high in fat or sugar with vegetables rich in fiber and water such as radish can help reduce the number of calories we eat during the day, provide a longer-lasting feeling of fullness, and maintain blood glucose levels under control.

How to store radish?

Since radish is a tuber and the best place to store them is in the soil itself, post-harvest storage forms should mimic those conditions: darkness, coolness, and a little humidity. In general, there are 5 common options for storing radishes:

  1. Storing radishes in a glass container
  • Trim radish roots, leaves, and stalks to prevent dehydration and wilting.
  • Place them in a glass container, cover them with cold water, and cover. This will allow the radishes to stay crisp for a week or a little longer.
  1. Storing radishes in a box

If you have grown your own and prefer to store the radishes as is for later use, do the following:

  • Find a dark place, preferably a basement. If you don’t have a basement, you can create a similar environment by stacking boxes in a cool, dry place.
  • Place the radishes in a wooden box (avoid cardboard boxes), putting first a layer of radishes, then a layer of straw, and so on until the entire space is filled. You can also wrap each radish in the newspaper.
  1. Storing radishes by dehydration
  • Wash the radishes and cut off the stem, root, and leaves.
  • Then chop them finely into slices and place them in a dehydrator; Follow the instructions on your dehydrator to find out how long the process will take.
  • Finally, extract the radish slices and store them in an airtight container for later use.
  1. Storing radishes in the refrigerator

When radishes are not properly refrigerated, they end up rotting within a few days.

  • Rinse the radishes well to remove any dirt.
  • Wrap them in a damp paper towel to prevent dehydration.
  • Place them in a sandwich or freezer bag, making sure to leave it slightly open to prevent too much moisture from building up inside the bag (as it often does in the fridge). This way, the radishes can last more than a week.
  1. Storing radishes frozen

Radishes don’t actually freeze well; This often ruins their texture and flavor, but you can get better results if you steam them before freezing in a bag.

What is the origin of radish?

Although the first historical records about radish place it in ancient Rome, some scientific studies affirm that the origin of this tuber was in Southeast Asia. Later, different variants emerged as the radish spread to other areas, such as India and China. Radish has been one of the first crops brought to America from Europe after the continent’s rediscovery.

What is the radish plant like?

The radish plant is an annual herbaceous plant, which belongs to the Brasicaceae or Cruciferous family. Its root, which is the edible fruit of the panta, is thick and fleshy and variable in size, shape, and color. Its stem is a small, branch, and hairy. Once the radish plant blooms, the stem can reach a height of ½ to 1 meter.

The leaves are rough, petiolate, and large, with irregularly serrated edges. The radish flower is usually white, but it can also be yellow or light purple in color; these flowers grow in terminal clusters, large and open. The seeds of radish plants are small, with a diameter of approximately 5 mm; they are circular in shape and brown in color.

How is radish grown?

Radish is one of the fastest-growing vegetables that require less space to grow. It also does not require transplantation, so the place of its harvest will be the same in which it was originally sown. Radish reproduces by seeds germinating in soils or containers with a minimum depth of 10 cm. When growing radishes, making small grooves 1-1.5 cm deep is recommended, leaving 8-12 cm between them.

Once they have been planted, the seeds must be watered immediately. In general, the soil should never be allowed to lose moisture, and if possible, its nutrients should be improved by adding some type of compost. The radish harvest can bear fruit as early as 25 days since they have a high-speed growth cycle, especially spring and summer varieties.

It is always better to sow few radishes and repeat every 10-15 days to have fresh radishes throughout the season. They should not be left to grow for a long time because they become tough, leathery and their flavor may be affected.

What does radish taste like?

Radish has a fresh, slightly spicy flavor. If this flavor is not attractive to you and you prefer to soften it, you can remove the peel since the sulfur compounds, or glucosinolates, are found, giving it that characteristic flavor.

What other names does radish have?

Depending on the place, radish is also known as rabanito, rabanete, rabaneta, Chinese turnip, daikon, nabón, Zapotec (indigenous languages ​​of Mexico), erradil, rabanilla, Cabanilla, Brabantia, white radish, rabbi, white radish, round white radish, Castilian radish, round red radish, red radish, grenadine radish, long radish, male radish, straw radish, round radish, wild radish, among others.