Black mustard (Brassica nigra, synonym — Sinapis nigra); family of Cabbage (Brassicaceae), or Cruciferae; black mustard
In the time of Avicenna, it was said that mustard is useful to drink on an empty stomach, because it supposedly sharpens the intelligence. In fact, if fresh mustard is eaten, the tickling becomes so intense that tears flow. Of course, this is nothing more than a joke, but such historical information exists. The plant is truly versatile: it is used in food as a spice; seeds and
cake from it is a source of fatty oil, medicine; flowers release a lot of nectar.
Black mustard is an annual herbaceous plant. Its stem is erect, 60-100 cm tall, branched at the top. The lower part of the plant with leaves is covered with thin hairs. The leaves are petioled, the stems are oblong-lanceolate, the lower ones are lyre-shaped, unevenly dissected. The flowers are bright yellow, bisexual, regular, four-petalled, collected in inflorescences — tassels. They bloom from June to September. The fruit is a four-sided pod 1-2 cm long. Black mustard is widespread in the middle and southern regions of Russia, more often in river valleys. As a weed, it occurs in gardens, orchards, fields, sometimes in wastelands and near homes. Outside of Russia, it most often grows in Ukraine (under natural conditions — throughout the territory, except for the Carpathians and the Crimea). In some places it has been introduced into culture.
For the preparation of medicines, seeds are used, which are collected when the lower and middle pods ripen, and the plant itself turns yellow. The cut stems are tied into bundles and dried, making sure that they do not dry out and that the seeds do not fall out of the pods. The finished raw material is threshed and sieved. Store in well-ventilated areas.
The seeds contain fatty oil (25-42%), which does not dry out and has high nutritional qualities. It is also valuable because it does not become bitter for a long time. The seeds also contain sinigrin glycoside, essential oil (up to 1.4%), proteins (up to 20%), mucilage. With the help of water and under the influence of the enzyme myrosin, the sinigrin glycoside decomposes into potassium sulfate, glucose and mustard essential oil, which strongly irritates the skin and mucous membranes. In addition, the oil is a very strong antiseptic. It is usually extracted from seeds with ethyl alcohol or water.
Mustard seeds stimulate the appetite, increase the secretion of gastric juice, act as an anti-inflammatory and strong antiseptic agent. It is included in the composition of gastrointestinal tea, which is used to normalize the activity of the gastrointestinal tract. Useful seeds for constipation and opium poisoning (causes vomiting and weakens). Mustard powder, which is obtained from the seed cake, is prescribed externally. It is used in the form of mustard seeds, alcohol extract, added to water for local baths. Mustards are recommended for colds, bronchitis, pleurisy, bronchopneumonia; apply to painful areas with sciatica and neuralgia. They effectively act as a reflex remedy for hypertensive crises, threatening stroke, as well as angina pectoris (applied to the back of the head or the area of the heart). Mustard alcohol is used for rubbing in rheumatism, radiculitis, neuritis, cold diseases and for the treatment of frostbite. Foot baths with mustard powder are useful for colds and severe hypothermia. There is an old folk remedy for a cold – socks with dry mustard poured into them are worn at night.
To prepare mustard baths and mustards, mustard must not be boiled with boiling water, because in this case the enzyme myrosin is destroyed, and the release of mustard oil, which has the main therapeutic effect, does not occur. The water temperature should not be higher than 55-60 °C.
The use of mustard seeds is contraindicated in inflammatory diseases of the kidneys and pulmonary tuberculosis.
Black mustard is not only an oil plant, but also a wonderful honey plant. Its honey productivity is about 190 kg per hectare. Honey is golden, after crystallization it acquires a yellow-cream shade.
As a spice, mustard was used by the ancient Romans (it comes from the Mediterranean), over time, they spread their favorite seasoning throughout Western Europe, from where the plant went further to the East and was brought to the territory of modern Russia. You also need to be able to cook table mustard correctly: mustard powder is poured with warm water (in order for the enzyme to show its effect), thoroughly mixed, and a thick dough is kneaded. The formed lump is placed at the bottom of the vessel in which the dough was prepared. Only after that, carefully pour boiling water and leave for 10-12 hours. to remove bitterness. Then the water is drained, and salt, vinegar and sugar are added to the finished product to taste.
The closest relative of black mustard is Sarepta mustard (V. juncea) – a plant that grows in the steppe zone of Russia (Volgograd and Saratov regions), as well as in the southern part of Western and Eastern Siberia. In Ukraine, it is cultivated as an oil and food plant, it occurs wild in littered places in the steppe, less often in the forest-steppe zones. It has the same properties (oil, medicinal, food and honey) as black mustard, but it is grown more widely. Sarepta mustard is somewhat inferior to black mustard as a honey.
Mustard seeds ( internal). Take 10 seeds on an empty stomach half an hour before meals. Increasing the dose every day, bring it to 20 seeds. Antiseptic agent, stimulates appetite.