wild mustart plants
Wed, Apr 27, 2022

Wild Mustard Plant: The Perfect Seasoning and Great Medicine You Never Noticed

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Wild Mustard Plant: The Perfect Seasoning and Great Medicine You Never Noticed Article Preview
wild mustart plants

The wild mustard plant has been cultivated for 5,000 years in Eurasia, and due to its tendency for growing practically anywhere untended, it has become very popular. Wild mustard plants may be found practically anywhere on the planet, including Greenland and the poles. Mustard has long been used to flavor meals, but it is also well-known for its medicinal properties. It’s a fascinating plant with many applications.

Wild Mustard Plant Identification

Wild Mustard Plant

Wild mustard (Brassica kaber) is a weed that may be found throughout the US. Summer is when the majority of the population emerges, with lesser groups appearing in the fall. Well, what does wild mustard look like?

The seedlings’ cotyledons are kidney-shaped and indented at the tip. Alternate leaves of older plants are somewhat hairy, especially on the bottom surface of the veins. Lower leaves are stalked, deeply lobed, and have a large terminal segment and a few smaller lateral lobes. Upper leaves are stalkless and coarsely serrated, with no divisions. Plants can grow to be 30 to 100 cm tall, with simple or heavily branching stems. The stems are generally green or purple and feature stiff downward-pointing hairs, especially on the lower sections. Flowers are produced in little clusters at the terminals of branches, which become longer as the seedpods mature.

Bright yellow wild mustard flowers have 4 little sepals, 4 petals grouped in a cross arrangement, 4 long and 2 short stamens, and 1 thin pistil. Flower stalks are slender and short (3-5 mm), thickening but not lengthening as seedpods mature. Siliques are 3-5 cm long seed pods that are normally hairless and have longitudinal ribs. They are upright and pushed to the stem or spread out. Each pod contains a flattened terminal beak approximately 1/3 the length of the pod, with 1 or 2 seeds in its base, and the main portion with multiple seeds that are released when the pod’s two valves split apart from the bottom end and fall away completely.

How to Identify Wild Mustard

Other annual yellow-flowered mustards can be mistaken for wild mustard. Look for mustardy or peppery scents, four petals grouped in a cross shape, and flowers/fruit spirally arranged on a stalk. Look at the leaves (both young and old), stalks, and flowers to distinguish the mustards apart. It is characterized by the presence of:

  • 1 or 2 seeds in the pod’s flattened, terminal beak;
  • seeds between the valves and the stalk of the pod are short and nearly as thick as the pod.

Field Mustard Uses

wild mustard flower

Wild mustard may be used as a herb to flavor oils and vinegar, to liven up boring eggs or potatoes, and to provide flavor to a variety of other dishes. Of course, we must not overlook the usage of mustard as a condiment. Toss the seeds in a blender with the vinegar and salt, and voilà! Wild mustard greens are also tasty and may be boiled down to a nutrient-dense mess. Mustard flowers may be sprinkled into salads for a peppery kick or used dry to replace expensive saffron. Mustard seeds can be dried and processed into powder, then used as a spicy spice. They may also be crushed to extract the oils, which burn nicely and can be utilized in oil lamps or the kitchen.

Wild mustard herbal usage, on the other hand, has traditionally been focused on its therapeutic benefits. Do you know what mustard plaster is? The crushed or powdered mustard seed was (and probably still is) combined with a little water to produce a paste for a mustard plaster. The paste was then put on a cloth, herb side up, and applied to a person’s chest, aching joints, or other swollen and painful places. Mustard dilates blood vessels, allowing the circulatory system to remove toxins and enhance blood flow, resulting in reduced swelling and discomfort.

When consumed as a tea or capsule, wild mustard can also help relieve headache discomfort. Inhaling mustard vapor over a basin filled with hot water and a tiny quantity of ground mustard will help clear sinuses. You can cover your head with a towel and inhale the spicy vapor. The use of mustard as medicine comes with some risks. It might cause stomach difficulties, eye discomfort, and skin rashes in certain persons who are sensitive to it.

Mustard has been endowed with curative properties over time. It’s been dubbed a decongestant, a digestive aid, and an appetite stimulant. Mustard is frequently used in plaster form to alleviate inflammation because it stimulates blood circulation. According to folklore, you may even avoid frostbite by sprinkling mustard powder on your socks.

Where to Find Wild Mustard

Wild mustard will follow you everywhere you go. It has now infiltrated every nook and cranny of North America, notably in farm fields and along roadside and walking routes.

Although B. rapa and many other foreign mustards are native to Europe, they have become so widespread across the continent that they should all be regarded as “naturalized” here.

When to Look for Wild Mustard

Grow Wild Mustard

If you’ve ever gone on a trip to the countryside in April or May and wondered, “What are all those small yellow flowers?” chances are they were wild mustard.

All parts of the plant can be collected at any time, however, they will be most visible in the spring when they are in bloom.

Wild mustard is a fast-growing plant that can behave as an annual depending on when it germinates, even though brassicas are normally biennials.

In a normal biennial life cycle, the plant germinates in the autumn, overwinters (and in colder areas, frequently dies down to its roots), and then bolts to produce blooms and seeds as soon as April arrives.

If the weather is too hot and/or dry, those seeds may not sprout until the fall, but if there is enough moisture, they may germinate sooner in the spring and summer. They will complete their life cycles as annuals in this situation, bolting when the late-summer heat gets too much for them to bear.

How to Collect Wild Mustard

At any stage of growth, all portions of the wild mustard plant can be eaten. The different sections can be treated in the same way as their domesticated counterparts.

Many individuals prefer the flavor of the leaves before the flower stalk appears, as they do with other wild spring greens. Young wild mustard leaves are delicious in salads, but older leaves may be sautéed or blended into stir-fries or smoothies.

Any shoot’s top 4-6 inches flowering can be cooked, whether before or after blooming. The flowers themselves are a lovely addition to any cuisine.

Immature seed pods are delicious to eat anytime you come upon them. When the seeds are fully grown, they may be collected and processed to create – you guessed it! – mustard.

Is It Possible to Grow Wild Mustard on Your Own

Field Mustard

If you want to grow your wild mustard patch, it’s as simple as gathering seeds once the pods have matured and scattered them in a bare piece of soil. In no time, you’ll have your self-sowing crop – just make sure you only plant it someplace you don’t mind it taking over.

Mustard grows well in a wide range of soils, although it produces the most seed in rich, well-drained, well-prepared soil with a pH of at least 6.0. It will thrive if it is kept wet at all times. It prefers low temperatures, and a small frost might even enhance the flavor. 

Mustard is an ancient plant with a lot of appeal for modern gardeners. They are simple to cultivate and can start producing seeds in as little as 60 days. The greens are tasty, the blooms are lovely, and if the seeds are left to ripen on the plant, they will self-sow and supply lots more mustard. Is it worthwhile to make your own mustard? It is, especially when you consider that a tiny jar of decent Dijon may cost up to $7. One dollar spent on seeds will provide a pantry shelf full of good and elegant mustard, as well as enough greens to fill a salad spinner.

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