MUSTARD (Black) BRASSICA NIGRA
An excellent sauce for clarifying the blood.
An annual growing three or four feet (0.9 to 1.2 m) high with small yellow flowers. The seed pod is long and pointed and contains about a dozen dark brown seeds which have a hot, biting taste.
Where to find it: Waste places, roadsides, beside streams and on sea cliffs. Flowering time: Early summer.
Astrology. A herb of Mars.
Medicinal virtues: Excellent for weak stomachs, but unfit for choleric people. It strengthens the heart and resists poisons. Those with weak stomachs should take one dram (1.7 g) each of Mustard seed and Cinnamon beaten to a powder with half a dram (390 mg) of powdered Mastic and Gum Arabic dissolved in Rose-water and made into troches of half a dram (390 mg) each. One troche is to be taken an hour or two before meals. Old people may take much of this medicine with advantage. Mustard seed has the virtue of heat, discussing, ratifying and drawing out splinters of bones from the flesh. It is good for falling-sickness or lethargy and to bring down the courses.
A decoction of the seed in wine resists poison, the rnalignity of Mushrooms and the bites of venomous creatures, if taken in time. Taken in an electuary the seed stirs up lust, helps the spleen and pain in the sides and gnawings of the bowels.
An outward application eases the pain of sciatica and the gout and aching joints.
Modern uses: Mustard seeds are used mainly in poultices for acute local pain and congestive lung conditions, such as bronchitis. The poultices are made by mixing the powdered seeds into a paste with warm water and spread onto brown paper. The poultices should be removed when they make the skin red. Mustard oil, a powerful irritant, is incorporated into liniments for rheumatic pain.