Barrisca nigra (black) or Sinapis alba (white) Cruciferae
Found on waste land and in gardens. Also cultivated as a pasture herb. Leaves are cress-form, hot biting. Flowers are intense yellow, cross-form, also hot and biting. Seeds are long, narrow, also very hot. The herb is used both in medicine and to cleanse pastures. As a green manure crop, mustards are dug in just at flowering time. The condiment is usually prepared from seeds of black mustard.
An important antiseptic tonic. Treats poor appetite, flatulence, bad breath. Also colds, catarrh, pneumonia.
Mustard is a poultice and plaster herb. In external application it acts as an irritant and excitant and so is valuable treatment of paralysis and pectoral complaints. As a poultice or rubbing remedy, to relieve internal and external or inflammations, congested lungs, paralyzed limbs, rheumatic and arthritic pains and stiffness. Mustard baths are a decongestant. Dose: Eat the young leaves freely as a salad herb. And a handful can be eaten easily, daily, as a spring tonic and general blood remedy. When a cold is threatening, chew a teaspoon of the seeds several times during the day to expel the accumulating mucus.
To make a Mustard Poultice:
Use a handful of mustard powder to a handful of bran; make a past with hot water; apply hot.
To make a Mustard Plaster:
To every handful of ground mustard add three parts of whole wheat flour. Mix into a pliable past with hot water. Then add further some hot vinegar (about two teaspoons of vinegar to one cup of the mustard-whole wheat flour mixture). Spread on a piece of cloth and apply hot over the area to be treated: chest, kidneys, paralyzed areas. In cases of sensitive skin where blisters may be provoked, add the white of an egg to every half pint measure of the mixture.