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Yellow Mustard


 Yellow Mustard


Scientific Names 

Black Mustard

Brassica nigra L.

White Mustard

Brassica hirta L.

Sinapsis alba L.


Crucifer family


Common Names

Ta-chieh (Chinese name)

White mustard seed

Yellow mustard kedlock

Yellow mustard seed


Parts Usually Used

Brassica nigra L. = Seed

Sinapsis alba L. = Seed

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Brassica nigra L.

Black mustard is an annual plant; the many, erect, branching, angular stem grows 2-7 feet tall and bears large, alternate leaves, the lower ones lyrately pinnatifid and somewhat bristly, the upper glabrous, entire, and lanceolate. Yellow flowers grow in elongating clusters in terminal racemes from June into November. Each has 4 petals. The black seeds develop in upright, bulgy, cylindrical, beaked pods which are held on stalks closely pressed to the stem.

Sinapsis alba L.

Very similar to black mustard.

Medicinal Properties

Brassica nigra L.

Appetizer, digestive, irritant Sinapsis alba L.

Pungent, stimulant, condiment, emetic, laxative, irritant, digestive

Seeds are analgesic, carminative, stimulant, expectorant

Biochemical Information

Sinapsis alba L.

Sinalbin, sinapine, myrosin

Legends, Myths and Stories

Both black and white mustard have similar properties, although most herbalists say the black mustard is the stronger. Culpeper recommended an external use to treat joint pain and backache. To be taken internally with honey for coughs. Today, mustard is generally used externally. Never use the undiluted oil.

In Nevada, several members of the mustard family develop orange colored seeds, which are carefully collected and ground to make gravy by the Native Americans. This gravy is made by adding hot water to the meal. One variety of wild mustard seldom sets on seeds. The Native American name given to this one means: “Old Maid Sister.” There is a wild weed mustard, called “Acjha.” Grows on hillsides and is ripe in late June. The seeds are small and red. Brassica nigra L.

Use of the seed is thought to have dated back to the time of the Greeks, who also used the plant’s green leaves as a potherb and salad. Some references say Black Mustard belongs to the mustard family, but Webster’s dictionary and the majority of references claim the crucifer family. The reader knows best. Black mustard seed is used for giving a biting sensation to cordials and wines.

Sinapsis alba L.

This is the common yellow (white) ground mustard that is used with food, even though some herbalists claim it is harmful used in this way. The leaves of the white mustard are quite tasty in salads.


Brassica nigra L.

Black mustard is generally used externally as an irritant to encourage blood flow toward the surface in cases of rheumatism, sciatica, peritonitis, neuralgia, and various internal inflammations. Black mustard can be taken internally in very small amounts to promote appetite, and stimulate the flow of gastric juices. In poultices to treat colds, fever, bronchitis, ague, sciatica, crick in the neck, chilblains, relieve constipation, or to promote kidney action, toothache, headaches. In stronger doses it causes vomiting. Mustard oil can be mixed with rectified alcohol (1 part oil to 40 parts alcohol) and used as a lotion externally for gouty pains, lumbago, and rheumatism. Also used as a spice, a condiment, leaves in salads, cooked as a vegetable, season pickles, etc. Ground seeds used as a snuff for headaches.

Sinapsis alba L.

An old-fashioned remedy to produce vomiting. Used as a poultice for pneumonia, bronchitis, chest colds, and flu. The seeds are used to treat joint pain, watery, oozing, chronic sores, stops coughs, dispels phlegm, improves digestion.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.