Med Plant Data Base


Moldo-german project 10.820.09.09GA
ЂEvaluation of the pharmaceutic potential
of medicinal plants from natural habitats from Republic of Moldova


Brassica nigra

KINGDOM: Plantae » Class: Magnoliopsida » Order: Capparales » Family: Brassicaceae

Brassica nigra


Brassica nigra


Kingdom: Plantae

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Capparales

Family: Brassicaceae

Genus: Brassica

Species: B. nigra

Plant description

The plant is believed to be
native to the southern Mediterranean region of Europe, and has been
cultivated for thousands of years.

The spice is generally made from ground seeds of the plant, with the seed
coats removed. The small (1 mm) seeds are hard and vary in color from dark
brown to black. They are flavorful, although they have almost no aroma. The
seeds are commonly used in Indian cuisine, for example in curry, where it is
known as 'rai'. The seeds are usually thrown into hot oil or ghee after which
they pop, releasing a characteristic 'nutty' flavor. The seeds have a
significant amount of fatty oil. This oil is used often as cooking oil in

In Ethiopia, where is it cultivated as a vegetable in Gondar, Harar and
Shewa, the shoots and leaves are consumed cooked and the seeds used as a
spice. Its Amharic name is Senafitch.

Ground seeds of the plant mixed with honey are widely used in eastern
Europe as cough suppressant. In Eastern Canada, the use of "mouche de moutarde"
to treat respiratory infections was popular before the advent of modern
medicine. It consisted in mixing ground mustard seeds with flour and water,
and creating a cataplasm with the paste. This cataplasm was put on the chest
or the back and left until the person felt a stinging sensation.

The plant itself can grow from 2 to 8 feet tall with racemes of small
yellow flowers. These flowers are usually up to 1/3" across, with 4
petals each. Its leaves are covered in small hairs. The leaves can wilt on
hot days, but recover at night.

Since the 1950s, black mustard has become less popular as compared to India
mustard because some cultivars of India mustard have seeds that can be
mechanically harvested in a more efficient manner.

Diffusion area

Black mustard is grown for
millennia in the southern Mediterranean. Spontaneous met plowing side by
sămănături, park or rural places. Spread in Europe and


It is a cultivated species. Can
be found sometimes at the filed edges, through the crops or ruderal places.

Therapeutic actions

Carminative, diuretic, emetic,
laxative, Vesica, digestive stimulant, rubifiant, revulsive, bactericidal,
used in rheumatism and neuralgia, in bronchitis, pneumonia, joint
inflammation, chronic inflammation. Appetizer; Digestive;†
Rubefacient;† Stimulant.

Mustard seed is often used in herbal medicine, especially as a rubefacient
poultice[4]. The seed is ground and made into a paste then applied to the
skin in the treatment of rheumatism, as a means of reducing congestion in
internal organs. Applied externally, mustard relieves congestion by drawing
the blood to the surface as in head afflictions, neuralgia and spasms. Hot
water poured on bruised seeds makes a stimulant foot bath, good for colds and
headaches. Old herbals suggested mustard for treating alopecia, epilepsy,
snakebite, and toothache. Care must be taken not to overdo it, since
poultices can sometimes cause quite severe irritation to the skin. The seed
is also used internally, when it is appetizer, digestive, diuretic, emetic
and tonic. Swallowed whole when mixed with molasses, it acts as a laxative A
decoction of the seeds is used in the treatment of indurations of the liver
and spleen. It is also used to treat carcinoma, throat tumours, and
imposthumes. A liquid prepared from the seed, when gargled, is said to help
tumours of the "sinax.". The seed is eaten as a tonic and appetite
stimulant. Hot water poured onto bruised mustard seeds makes a stimulating
foot bath and can also be used as an inhaler where it acts to throw off a
cold or dispel a headache. Mustard Oil is said to stimulate hair growth.
Mustard is also recommended as an aperient ingredient of tea, useful in
hiccup. Mustard flour is considered antiseptic.

Biologically active substances

The main components of black
mustard seeds are: carbohydrates, lipids (28.2 to 30.5%), mucilage (20%),
amino acid (arginine) and minerals.

The grains are characterized by sulfur compounds:
2-phenylethyl-glucozinalat, 3-glucozinolat metilpropil, allil-isothiocyanate,
thiocyanate allil-, phenylethyl-isothiocyanate, sinigrină (allil
glucozinolat) and sinapină.

The plant contain accumulation of iodine and the thyroid and can cause

It also contains fatty acids: erucic acid, oleic acid and linoleic

Vitamins: ascorbic acid and niacin.

Organic acids: caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, hydroxybenzoic
acid, p-cumaric acid, acid protocatecuic acid trans-cinnamic acid

Indigenous medicinal plants in databases

Centers, institutes, research labs of medicinal plants

1. Medical University of Vienna,
Department of Medicine I, Division of Oncology, Austria.

2. Drug Research and Development Center Playa, Havana City, Cuba.

3. Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão
Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São
Paulo, Brazil.

4. Department of Biochemistry, Amala Cancer Research Centre Amala Nagar,
Thrissur-680555, Kerala, India.


1. Zemede Asfaw,
"Conservation and use of traditional vegetables in Ethiopia",
Proceedings of the IPGRI International Workshop on Genetic Resources of
Traditional Vegetables in Africa (Nairobi, 29Ц31 August 1995)

2. Post, George Edward. "Mustard". in James Hastings. A
Dictionary of the Bible.

Pârvu C. Universul plantelor. Mica enciclopedie. Editura
enciclopedică. Bucureşti 2000.†
(Brassica nigra p. 412)

Genetic characteristics

2n = 16

Gathering place (figure should be increased)

Brassica nigra
DLE новинки

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