Brassica nigra, (Linne') Koch, juncea, (Linne') Cosson and related varieties. The dried ripe seed, with not more than 5 p.c. other seeds or other foreign organic matter, yielding not less than .6 p.c. volatile oil (allyl isothiocyanate.

Habitat. Asia, S. Europe, Africa, cultivated in gardens; wild in United States.

Syn. 1. Sinap, Nig., Brown Mustard, Cadlock, Kerlock; Sinapis Nigrae Semina; Fr. Moutarade noire (grise); Ger. Semen Sinapis, Schwarzer Senf, Senfaamen. 2. Sarepta, Indian or Russian Mustard.

Si-na'pis. L. Fr. Gr. ..., Celtic nap, a turnip.

Bras'si-ca. L. For cabbage, fr. Celtic bresic, cabbage -- i.e., the fruit resemblance.

Jun'ce-a. L. Juncus, a rush, reed -- i.e., from resemblance to rush (bulrush).

Ni'gra. L. Niger, black -- i.e., the seed.

Mus'tard. L. Mustrum, must -- i.e., seeds were once pounded with must or vinegar.


Brassica nigra, erect annual, 1.3 M. (4 degrees) high, smooth above, branched; leaves irregularly pinnatifid, faintly toothed; flowers 6 Mm. (1/4') broad, yellow ; fruit silique, 18 Mm. (3/4') long, 1 Mm (1/25') broad, appressed, somewhat quadrangular, beak short, tapering 3-7-seeded; B. Juncea, glabrous or pubescent, glaucous, upper leaves oblong, subentire, attenuate at the base, lower lyrate, pedicels slender spreading, smaller than preceding; flowers (1.2-1.8 Cm. (3/5-4/5') broad, not appressed; fruit (pod) 2-5 Cm. (4/5-2') long. SEED, spheroidal, irregularly spheroidal, 1-1.6 Mm (1/25-1/16') broad; testa dark reddish-brown, sometimes yellowish-brown, with grayish tinge, minutely pitted or reticulate; embryo greenish-yellow, dark, yellow, oil, 2 large cotyledons; odor slight (dry); when crushed and moistened, very irritating, strongly pungent, characteristic; taste strongly pungent, acrid.


light brown, greenish-brown--tissues of embryo, the cells containing small aleurone grains and fixed oil, the latter forming in large globules on adding chloral hydrate T.S.; fragments of seed-coat conspicuous, with yellow areas and small yellowish stone cells, few or no starch grains. In preparing powdered black mustard, some of its fixed oil may be removed to facilitate reduction. Should be kept, when powdered, in tightly-closed containers. Solvents: water; alcohol slightly. Dose, gr. 15-60 (1-4 Gm.).



Those of allied species--radish, turnip, rape, the latter most common, but easily recognized by larger size and peculiar bluish-red tint;


Flour, starchy substances (blue with iodine), turmeric -- rendering white mustard whiter (reddish-brown with borax or boric acid), red pepper (increasing pungency), sawdust (microscope); out of 27 samples examined only 8 were free of admixtures; white mustard recognized by not giving pungent fumes when mixed with water unless heated; OIL: Alcohol, carbon disulphide, castor oil, petroleum, artificial allyl isosulphocyanate, etc.

Brassica nigra: 1, flower; 2, pistil and stamens; 3, pistil; 4, silique; 5, cross-section of same; 6, seed; a, stamen; st, stigma; g, pistil carpels; d, nectar tubes; r, replum.


Plants are cultivated largely in England, United States, etc., and grow wild--the white (Sinapis alba), occasionally, the black commonly. The seed of each on grinding and sifting yield a yellow powder of characteristic odor and taste, and by mixing equal quantities of the two we obtain mustard, flour of mustard (Sinapis, Br.), which by trituration with water (vinegar) and spices yields the semi-solid French mustard.

Sinapis, magnified: a, transverse section; b, embryo; c. entire seed.


Fixed oil 30-35 p.c., Sinigrin (potassium myronate) .7-1.3 p.c., Sinapine sulphocyanide, lecithin, albumin 30 p.c., gum and mucilage 20 p.c. (mainly in testa), myrosin, other proteins, starch 1-2.5 p.c., ash 4-9 p.c.

Fixed Oil. -- Usually termed "oil of mustard" is obtained by crushing seeds and expressing; it is yellowish-green, non-drying, sp. gr. 0.916, congeals at -18 degrees C. (0 degree F.), slight odor, bland, mild taste; consists of glycerides of oleic, stearic, erucic (brassic) and behenic acids.

Sinapine. -- Alkaloid, here only as sulphocyanide, in colorless, bitter prisms, soluble in water, alcohol. Sinapine boiled with alkalies gives choline or sinkaline, CHON, and sinapic acid, CHO.

Myrosin. -- This ferment is an albuminoid body that becomes inert at 70 degrees C. (158 degrees F.), hence mustard heated to this point will not yield the volatile oil, owing to which the plasters should not be moistened with water warmer than the body temperature.

Sinigrin, CHKNSO.--Silky, white needles, or golden-yellow crystals, soluble in water, slightly in alcohol, insoluble in ether, chloroform; with water and the ferment myrosin it splits into glucose, acid potassium sulphate, and allyl sulphocyanide (isosulphocyanate -- volatile oil of mustard) .5-1 p.c.

Oleum Sinapis Volatile. Volatile Oil of Mustard, U.S.P. -- (Syn., Ol.  Sinap. Vol., Mustard Oil Oleum Sinapis Aethereum, Oil of Mustard; Fr. Essence de Moutarde; Ger. Oleum Sinapis, Senfol, Aetherisches Senfol.)  This oil, like oil of bitter almond and to a great extent oil of gaultheria, does not preexist in the plant, being obtained by macerating with warm water the crushed black mustard seeds (B. Nigra, B. Juncea), after the removal of fixed oil by expression, when a reaction (fermentation) sets in between sinigrin (potassium myronate) and myrosin (albuminoid ferment), provided the temperature does not exceed 70 degrees C. (158 degrees F.), at which the ferment becomes inert and ceases to act--CHKNSO (sinigrin) + HO = CHCNS (volatile oil of mustard) + CHO (glucose) + HKSO; also have formed allyl cyanide, carbon disulphide, allyl thiocyanate, and higher boiling compounds, which are always in the oil; when fermentation is completed the mixture is distilled with steam; this oil also is produced to a large extent synthetically by decomposing allyl iodide, C3H5I, with potassium sulphocyanate in alcoholic solution.  It is a colorless, pale yellow, strongly refractive liquid, very pungent, irritating odor, acrid taste (in both exercise great caution, examining it only when highly diluted), optically inactive, sp. gr. 1.017, soluble in alcohol, carbon disulphide, volatile at 150 degrees C. (302 degrees F.); contains at least 93 p.c. of allyl isothiocyanate (isosulphocyanate), with traces of allyl cyanide, carbon disulphide, etc.  Tests: 1.  Distils completely between 148-154 degrees C. (298-310 degrees F.)first and last 10 p.c. portions have nearly the same sp. gr. as original oil (abs. of alcohol, chloroform, petroleum, fatty oils).  2.  Dilute 1 cc. of oil with alcohol (5) + 1 drop of ferric chloride T.S.--no blue color (abs. of phenols).  The label must indicate definitely its specific source, whether from black mustard or made synthetically.  Should be kept cool, dark, in well-stoppered, amber-colored bottles.  Dose, m 1/8-1/4 (.008-.016 cc.).



  1.Emplastrum Sinapis.  Mustard Plaster.  (Syn., Emp. Sinap., Mustard Paper; Charta Sinapis, Fr. Papier moutarde (Sinapise), Moutarde enfeuilles; Ger. Charta sinapisata, Senf papier.)


Percolate black mustard 100 Gm. with petroleum benzin until percolate gives no greasy stain on blotting paper, dry the powder; dissolve  rubber 10 Gm. in petroleum benzin and carbon disulphide each 100 cc., and with this mix the purified mustard to produce a semi-liquid magma, spread on paper, cotton cloth, or other fabric; it is a uniform mixture of black mustard, deprived of its fixed oil, and a solution of rubber, spread on paper, cotton cloth, or other fabric; 100 Cm. contain 2.5 Gm. of black mustard deprived of its fixed oil.  Before applying to the skin moisten thoroughly with tepid water, when it will produce a decided warmth and redness within 5 minutes.  Should be kept in tightly-closed containers


1.  Linimentum Sinapis Compositum, N.F., 3 p.c. + fldext. mezereum 20 p.c., camphor 6, menthol 2, castor oil 15, alcohol q.s. 100.  2.  Spiritus Sinapis, N.F., 2 p.c. + white wax 15, lard 83.

Unoff. Preps.: SEED: Infusion, 5 p.c., dose, ad libitum.  OIL: Linimentum Sinapis (Br.), 3.5 p.c.


Stimulant, emetic, tonic, diuretic, laxative, rubefacient, irritant, epispastic, carminative, condiment, vesicant; dilates the vessels, causing redness, warmth, and irritates sensory nerves, giving burning pain.


-- Atonic dyspepsia with constipation, delirium tremens, atonic dropsy, hiccough, narcotic poisoning. Externally -- rheumatism, gout, atrophy, neuralgia, colic gastralgia, inflammation of throat or lungs, toothache, earache, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, dysentery, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, stimulant to heart respiration, and vascular system.

For Mild Action

Dilute mustard with equal quantity of flaxseed meal or flour, and make with water into a pasty plaster -- poultice, cataplasm, or sinapism; should be applied enveloped in very thin muslin to prevent sticking, and is superseded almost entirely by the whole- and half-strength mustard leaves, which, in order to use, should be dipped into warm water for 15 seconds and applied for 1/2-1 hour.  The volatile oil may be used locally, well diluted (3ss; 2 cc.) + Stokes' liniment, alcohol, or almond oil 3ij; 60 cc.  Good in scabies, hysteria, swooning convulsions.

Mustard foot-baths, valuable in headache, cerebral and other internal congestion, pneumonia, amenorrhea, for diaphoresis.

The infusion, made by stirring a tablespoonful to a cream with warm water, is a popular emetic in poisoning, etc., giving the entire mixture.