Sinapsis Alba, known as white mustard, is an annual plant that has been grown as a spice for centuries. It is also commonly associated with black mustard (Brassica nigra). White mustard is also classified as brassica alba, putting it in the same family as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. The seeds are quite common in Indian cuisine and have gained the most notoriety as the primary ingredient in a popular condiment. The seeds have also been valued substantially for a long resume? of medicinal properties dating back to the Ancient Greeks. Whereas black mustards are taken externally, white mustard seeds are consumed. But due to caustic properties, the seeds should not be taken without being diluted. Whole seeds or a decoction of the seeds may be taken as a laxative. It is also used to help those suffering from colds, flu or bronchitis. A mixture of mustard seed and honey can be used similar to cough syrup and to help alleviate sore throats. Mustard also makes good fodder for livestock, which in turn produces a rich manure product.
Growing Information: Seeds should be sown directly outdoors once the weather has warmed. Cover with a very thin dusting of soil (about 1/16″). A rich, alluvial soil is recommended. Thin plants to about a foot apart. When the seeds have ripened, harvest the entire plants and lay them out to dry on screens. Once the plants have dried, shake the seeds loose.
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