Warming White Mustard (Sinapis Alba)

With National Mustard Day in the US fast approaching lets celebrate mustard. National Mustard Day takes place on 3rd August 2019 this year and on the first Saturday in August every other year.

White mustard is also known as brassica alba. This is because its a member of the brassica family and alba means white in Latin.

In the wild white mustard grows up to 75cm tall and its leaves are pinnate. This  means that the leaflets are arranged on either side of the stem and typically in pairs opposite each other.

White mustard grows commercially in the UK  as a food crop for animals or alternatively as a cover crop. A cover crop means that farmers use it because it protects and enriches the soil. Therefore foraging for this one means finding escapees at the edge of fields, farmland or ditches.

Eating Mustard

Liking the hot bite that mustard gives a dish I add a little to mashed potato because it peps it up. Likewise I use it in casseroles too so that it adds a bit of spice to them.

The common yellow table mustard that we use comes from the hard round seeds of white mustard.

While going foraging for white mustard nibble the leaves as passing or take them home and put them into salads. The buds are also edible so steam or stir fry them along with the leaves.


Herbal Uses for Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds are rarely used by herbal practitioners internally anymore. Therefore a practitioner needs to be seen before considering doing this.

Here are some of the external herbal uses of the mustard seeds which may help to support the body;


Using a poultice stimulates circulation and generates warmth. As a result it may ease pain, tension and spasms.

Make a mustard seed/powder poultice as follows;

  1. Mix a handful of the herb with a binder. Easy binders to find and use include pastry flour or egg white.
  2. Moisten the herb and binder with warm water to make a paste.
  3. Wrap the paste in a coarse thin cloth and apply directly to the effected area. Avoid using linen because its weave is too tight.

Be careful not to leave the poultice on for too long or a blister may occur.


Uses of a Mustard Seed Poultice

A mustard seed poultice may support the body with regard to;

  • Arthritis and joint pains
  • Bronchitis
  • Chilblains
  • Colds
  • Painful joints of old age
  • Intercostal neuralgia
  • Painful chests
  • Pleurisy and this is inflammation of the tissue (pleura) between the lungs and rib cage


Make a footbath to ease tired and aching feet by;

  1. Putting 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds into a muslin bag.
  2. Placing the bag in a basin which is big enough to put your feet into and pour 2 pints of boiling water into the bowl.
  3. Let the water cool until it is comfortable enough to put your feet into.
  4. Soak the feet for 20 minutes.

Mustard Powder

Sprinkle mustard powder into boots or shoes to ease fisherman’s feet.

Mustard Bach Flower Remedy

Bach flower remedies are complementary medicine preparations which are made from flowers. These remedies may help to balance the emotions and  allow peace and happiness to return so that a sufferer’s body is free to heal itself.

The mustard Bach flower remedy is for those who feel depression but without knowing the reason why. A dark depression descends that may last for a few days or may go on for weeks at a time. The sufferer cannot disguise the depression and feels powerless to stop it.

Therefore the mustard Bach flower essence may support the emotions by turning these feelings around. As a result a more stable and lighter mood may come about. Bringing along with it calm, peace and cheerfulness.

Other support

If you or anyone you know is suffering with their mental health, then maybe some of the alternative support that helps me may help them too. Take a look at the following posts to find out more;

Alternative Tips for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Balance – Part One


Alternative Tips for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Balance – Part Two


Alternative Tips for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Balance – Part Three


Supportive St John’s Wort (Hypercium Perforatum)


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Be aware that you never know if you’re intolerant to something new until you try it for the first time. Therefore only try a tiny amount first and wait a day or two to check that there is no adverse reaction. 

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications, always check with your doctor to ensure that using any of these suggestions don’t contradict them.


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