PDR Health

Black Mustard

What is black mustard?

Black mustard (Brassica nigra) is a species of mustard plant. The seeds of the plant are used in the production of mustard, a condiment. The plant is native to temperate regions of Europe, Asia and Africa.

The black mustard plant grows to a height of 1-2 m. The leaves are alternate, simple and lobed. The flowers are yellow and borne in racemes. The fruit is a siliqua which contains two seeds.

The seeds are spherical and vary in color from black to brown. They have a pungent flavor and are used as a spice or condiment. Mustard is prepared by grinding the seeds and mixing them with water, vinegar, or other liquids.

Black mustard is used in Indian cuisine, where it is known as rai. It is also a major ingredient in Chinese and Korean cuisines. In the West, it is used as a condiment for meats and vegetables.

Mustard seeds are rich in oil and contain vitamins A, C and E. They also contain minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium. Mustard seeds have been used medicinally to treat digestive disorders and respiratory conditions.


The black mustard plant has also been used as a source of green manure. It improves the soil by adding organic matter and nitrogen. Mustard plants can be grown as a cover crop to control weeds. They can also be used in the production of biodiesel.

Black mustard is an annual plant and will flower from June to August. The flowers are yellow and borne in racemes. The fruit is a siliqua which contains two seeds.

The black mustard plant is native to temperate regions of Europe, Asia and Africa. It grows best in well-drained soils in full sun. Mustard plants are relatively easy to grow and can be started from seed.

If you are growing mustard for the first time, it is best to start with a small patch. This will allow you to get a feel for how the plant grows and how much space it needs. Once you have a good understanding of the plant, you can then start to grow it in larger areas.

Mustard plants are fast-growing and will be ready to harvest in around 4-6 weeks. The leaves can be used fresh or dry. The seeds can be used whole or ground into a powder.

Mustard is a versatile condiment that can be used in many different dishes. It can be added to salads, sandwiches, soups and stews. Mustard can also be used as a rub for meats or vegetables.

Side Effects

Mustard seeds and mustard powder are generally safe to consume. However, some people may experience an allergic reaction to mustard. This can cause symptoms such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis.

People who are allergic to mustard should avoid consuming it. Those with a history of allergies should be especially careful when trying new foods. If you experience any adverse effects after eating mustard, it is best to seek medical attention.

Black mustard seeds can also cause digestive upset if consumed in large quantities. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may occur. It is best to start with a small amount of mustard and increase intake gradually.

Pregnant women should avoid consuming large amounts of black mustard. This is because the plant contains compounds that can stimulate contractions. Mustard should also be avoided by nursing mothers as it can passed into breast milk.

Mustard plants can also be poisonous to animals if consumed in large quantities. Symptoms of mustard poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and weakness. If your animal shows any of these symptoms, it is best to seek veterinary attention.


Mustard seeds contain a number of compounds that are responsible for their medicinal properties. These compounds include sinigrin, myrosinase, allyl isothiocyanate and gamma-terpinene.

Sinigrin is a compound that has been shown to have anti-cancer activity. It can also help to protect the stomach lining from ulcers. Myrosinase is an enzyme that helps to break down sinigrin into allyl isothiocyanate.

Allyl isothiocyanate is the compound responsible for the pungent taste of mustard. It has also been shown to have anti-cancer activity. Gamma-terpinene is a compound that can help to reduce inflammation.

The pharmacokinetics of mustard have not been well studied in humans. However, it is thought that allyl isothiocyanate is rapidly absorbed from the gut and metabolized by the liver. The half-life of allyl isothiocyanate in humans is thought to be around 3 hours.