Using Mustard Flowers Italian Gardens

Mustard flower in the sun in italy Mustard flowers and seeds in italy

Italian fields are now ablaze with a plant that possesses the color

of the sunniest day and that provides the world with one of the hottest

flavors on the menu…mustard!

Hippocrates greek physician

Hippocrates, the great Greek physician, was busy writing about the

healing properties of this plant four centuries before the birth of

Christ- he recommended that the crushed seeds of this plant should be

mixed with vinegar and applied as a poultice for external irritations.

Sinapsis alba is a very common wild flower that displays

its stunning yellow flowers almost all year round but it really shows

off in early spring- transforming the dull, wintry Italian countryside

into a sea of the brightest yellow, reflecting the bright Italian spring

sunshine splendidly and offering an anticipated taste of the hot summer

to come. Although extremely common in Europe its properties are far

from simple and have been noted across the centuries by physicians and

chefs alike.

If I were to tell you that Sinapsis provides a natural pesticide,

a medicine and that you could even run your car on the volatile oil

derived from its seeds you would possibly find it quite hard to believe

– but such is the case!! Sinapsis also provides the garden

designer with a fantastic flower color, attracting droves of honeybees

and large quantities of green manure, when cut and collected, that can

be composted and used as a soil improver and mulch to retain water loss

and keep down weeds.

Mustard flower bushes weeds

Flowering at the same time as one of Italy’s other superstars, the

poppy, it provides a stunning

poppy yellow

backdrop which propels the bright reds of Italy’s glorious spring into

the eye of any passing eye.

Producing masses of seed, which are around 2.5mm long and stored

in pea-pod like capsules, sinapsis is able to colonise vast

swathes of countryside and is almost invariably present in fields and

wasteland throughout Italy and, along with the poppy, is one of the

first plants to germinate using the ecologica wild flower system.

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES

medicinial properties of mustard flowersCan

be used for…

  • Minor skin irritations, stimulating the circulation of the treated

    area of the skin.

  • When diffused in alcohol can be used to ease gout pain, rheumatism

    and lumbago

Various internal inflammations, skeletal and muscular pain, sciatica

and neuralgia. When applied to the skin it is then absorbed within the

body and is expelled through the lungs- inducing an antibacterial action

even there.

  • The oil, in a diluted form, can be ingested and can increase

    appetite by stimulating the production of digestive liquids in the

    intestine.

  • When taken as a tea or even just sprinkled in a bath the seeds

    can aid colds, fever and flu.

‘HOT’ MUSTARD TEA

mustard tea in a coffee cup

Pour boiling water into a cup with 1 tablespoon of crushed mustard

seed and leave for 5 minutes. Can be drunk 3 times per day.

Note: Consult your doctor to establish any possible, harmful

side-effects before preparing the tea!

By Jonathon Radford

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