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Botanical Name: Sisymbrium officinale
Species: S. officinale
Synonyms: Singer’s Plant. St. Barbara‘s Hedge Mustard. Erysimum officinale.
Common Name: Hedge mustard
Habitat : Sisymbrium officinale is native of Europe and North Africa, it is now well-established throughout the world. It grows in hedge banks, uncultivated ground, waste ground, the sites of ruined buildings etc. It is a fairly common weed of cultivated land.
Sisymbrium officinale is an annual plant. It gros to 2ft. by 1ft. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation: An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but prefers a moist to dry acid to alkaline soil in full sun or light shade. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. Hedge mustard grows well near oats but it inhibits the growth of turnips. The plant has a peculiar aptitude for collecting and retaining dust. This means that when growing near roads or other polluted places the leaves are seldom edible[K]. A food plant for the caterpillars of several butterfly and moth species.
Propagation: Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ
Part Used: Whole plant.
This plant is widely cultivated across Europe for its edible leaves and seeds. It is widely used as a condiment in Northern Europe (particularly Denmark, Norway and Germany).
The leaves have a bitter cabbage-like flavour and they are used either in salads or cooked as a leaf vegetable (in cultivar versions). The seeds have been used to make mustard pastes in Europe.
Antiaphonic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Laxative; Stomachic.
The whole plant is said to be antiaphonic, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic. This plant was at one time known as the ‘singer’s plant’ because of its use in treating loss of the voice. A strong infusion of the whole plant has been used in the treatment of throat complaints. Excessive doses can affect the heart. The dried plant is almost inactive, so it should only be used when freshly harvested
The Greeks believed it was an antidote to all poisons. In folk medicine, it was used to soothe sore throats – indeed one name for it is singer’s plant. This plant “grows by our roadsides and on waste ground, where it is a common weed, with a peculiar aptitude for collecting and retaining dust…it is named by the French the ‘Singer’s Plant,’ it having been considered up to the time of Louis XIV an infallible remedy for loss of voice. Jean Racine, writing to Nicolas Boileau, recommends him to try the syrup…in order to be cured of voicelessness.” It is “good for all diseases of the chest and lungs, hoarseness of voice…the juice…made into a syrup with honey or sugar, is no less effectual…for all other coughs, wheezing and shortness of breath…the seed is held to be a special remedy against poison and venom.” It was “formerly used for hoarseness, weak lungs and to help the voice.” Herbalists use the juice and flowers for bronchitis and stomach ailments, among other uses, and as a revitalizer. In Tibetan medicine it is used to repress the symptoms of food poisoning.
Soil conditioner….Alkaline secretions from the growing roots help to sweeten an acid soil.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.