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Brassica Nigra Black Mustard

Updated on April 12, 2011

The black mustard (Brassica nigra (L.) wdj Koch, 1833) is an herbaceous, annual, of the family Brassicaceae.It is a herbal plant.

Distribution And Habitat

Widespread in central and southern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, growing in the fields and in ruins.


Plant glabrous or nearly so, only the branches and stalks you can find some bristle.


Short, thin and white.


Plant with tall by 50 cm to 120 cm, angular and furrowed, fistula, simple or branched, with alternate branches.


The leaves are all stalk, rough, the lower, large and pennatosette with lacinee ovate oblong, with the central segment conspicuously larger of the 2-4 side, all irregularly toothed, the upper lanceolate oblong, entire, but superficially and irregularly toothed margin , though with less and less deep indentations.


Flowers terameri, regular and small, at first the inflorescence corimbiforme that with the lengthening of the axis is transformed into a racemate that comprises a panicle large and sparse. The stalk is 2-3 mm along the sepals are light green and free licenses, the corolla yellow, less than 1 cm wide is made up of four petals alternating with a cross entire sepals. The androecium has six stamens, of which the two shorter sides, everyone has free, thin filaments with anthers oblong biloculari. Gynoecium with ovary oblong biloculare, formed by two carpels welded on the edges, with the cavity divided by a segment of parchment and surmounted by a short style with stigma capitate, biloba.


The siliqua more or less leaning against the spine is about 2 cm long, ending in a beak 2-3 mm long section is very close to almost square, for the presence of the valves on the back of a large and prominent median nerve containing numerous seeds. It has the seeds in a single series for the lodge.


They are small, longer than wide, with a diameter of 1 to 1.5 mm. They have reddish-brown color, more or less dark, the shades of color may also vary on the same plant. Externally have a rticle ridges formed by very thin that it is difficult to distinguish with the naked eye.


It is mainly propagated by seed.

Active Ingredients

The seeds contain an alkaloid and the sinapina the glucoside sinigrin.


 The seeds mixed with honey are used extensively in the areas of Eastern Europe as a soothing cough. In eastern Canada, the use of "mouche de moutarde" to treat respiratory tract infections was very common before the advent of modern medicine. It is prepared by mixing mustard seeds with flour and water, making a poultice. This poultice was applied on the chest or back and left until the person did not feel a burning sensation. The seeds have also revulsive property. If ingested or inhaled powdered mustard is toxic, with inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract, with serious injuries uropoietico with albuminuria, hematuria, bladder irritation, cramps and excitement to the general paralysis of the nerve centers.


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    • susannah42 profile image

      susannah42 6 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for your hubs, good research

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      This is a very interesting hub as I had not know about these seeds. thanks for your information.

    • daffodil2010 profile image

      daffodil2010 6 years ago

      I appreciate that hyphenbird

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Another great Hub. Thank you for all the research you do.