Chinese mustard

Chinese mustard

Chinese mustard

Specification & Spread

Mustard seeds — semina sinapis
Chinese mustard – brassica juncea (l.) Czern. ( = sinapis juncea l.)
Cabbage family – brassicaceae (cruciferae)
Other names: blue mustard, Russian mustard.

It is an annual herbaceous plant with branchy stems up to 150 cm tall.
The leaves alternate, naked; lower – lyre, dissected or separated; middle ones are lanceolate, marginally along the edge; upper – entire, elliptical. Inflorescence is a brush.
The flowers are small, golden-yellow, typical of the cruciferous structure.
The fruits are cylindrical bare pods with an styloid spout, deflected from the stem.
The seeds are almost spherical, about 1 mm in diameter, sulfur-grey, brown or light yellow (depending on the variety), clearly cellular.

It flowers in May – June, the fruits ripen in June – July.

Spreading and habitat. As a wild-growing plant, Chinese mustard is found in the southernmost regions of the European part of Russia, in particular in the Lower Volga region. The plant is widely cultivated as a spring drought-resistant culture in the Lower Volga region and in the North Caucasus, as well as in Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan.
Mustard got its name from Sarepta (now one of the districts of Volgograd). From the pre-revolutionary period it was a kind of center for the culture and processing of mustard into oil and mustard plaster.
The plant easily grows wild, and now wild mustard Sarepta can be found as a ruderal plant in many regions of Russia, mainly in populated areas, in wastelands, along roads, less often as weeds in crops, in vegetable gardens, in gardens.
Black mustard is rarely cultivated, only in southwest Ukraine.


The chemical composition of mustard

The seeds of Chineese mustard contained

  • glucosinolates (thioglycosides).

The main one is the glycoside sinigrin, which is a double ester of allylisothiocyanate with potassium bisulfate and glucose (up to 1.4%).

In the presence of water at a temperature of 30-40 ºС under the influence of the enzyme myrozin, also contained in mustard seeds, sinigrin is split into components. The hydrolysis proceeds in two stages: first, potassium bisulfate is cleaved from sinigrin, then the glycosidic bond at the sulfur atom is split and glucose and allylisothiocyanate, otherwise called mustard essential oil, are formed.

The seeds are rich

  • fat oil (up to 40%),
  • squirrels,
  • mucous substances.

Fat oil is used as food (does not have a burning taste).

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The seeds are harvested when ripening the lower pods. The plants are mown, dried, threshed. The seeds are separated.

Storage. The raw materials are stored in warehouses in bags and in a dry place.

The seeds are almost spherical, 1-1.8 mm in diameter (often black mustard is less than 1 mm).
The seed colour is reddish brown, dark brown or black brown, sometimes yellow with a bluish bloom.
The surface of the seeds is mesh-cellular (visible under a magnifying glass). In water, the seeds lick; characteristic taste, burning.
When the seeds are rubbed with warm water, there is a characteristic mustard smell (the smell of allylisothiocyanate).
The purity test is performed by boiling water infusion of mustard seeds (1:10) and then adding Millon’s reagent. In this case, the liquid should not be painted red (admixture of white mustard seeds).
Black mustard seeds (Brassica nigra (L.) Koch), characterized by tight pods, are allowed to be used.
It is unacceptable to use white mustard (Sinapis alba L.), in which the pods are clearly thickened and densely pubescent with stiff hairs. Both species – annuals.

Properties and application

The pharmacological properties of mustard

The active ingredient in mustard seeds is

  • glycoside sinigrin, which splits into sugar, potassium bisulfate and allyl mustard oil in the presence of water.

It is this oil that causes the specific smell and burning taste of mustard, it causes skin irritation and rush to this place of blood, having a distracting effect.

Application of mustard

The seeds serve as industrial the raw materials for receiving food mustard fat oil.
The latter is obtained by pressing from previously crushed seeds, that is, more or less freed from the seed coat using peeling roller machines.

The remaining meal is a pharmaceutical raw material. After grinding as a fine powder, it is used

  • for producing mustard plaster.

The authenticity of the cake is set by burning taste and the formation of the characteristic essential oil, which is strongly irritated by the mucous membranes during the grinding of the cake powder with warm water. Mustard plasters are pieces of paper with a layer of mustard powder applied (using rubber glue). Mustard plasters are a typical distraction for inflammatory processes and rheumatism. Mustard plasters, moistened with warm water, are applied to the skin and left until there are clear signs of irritation (redness, burning sensation), usually occurring after 5-15 minutes. Mustard plasters are indispensable for bronchitis, pneumonia, pleurisy, myositis, neuritis, radiculitis, rheumatism and many other diseases, especially colds.

Mustard oil is an integral part of the multi-component ointment, which is used for arthritis, polyarthritis, myositis, lumbago, rheumatism, migraine and other diseases.