The two genera Brassica and Sinapis, constitute the various species of the mustard plants. The seeds are small in size and are used as spice and condiment when mixed with suitable amount of water, vinegar, and other liquids.
The seeds are also used to prepare mustard oil and its leaves are eaten as mustard greens. Mustard plants and seeds are rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A!
Facts about Mustard Plants
The mustard plant family includes a variety of plant species, spread all over the world. White, black, and brown are the various types of mustard found in various parts of the world. White mustard grows in North Africa, Middle East, and the Mediterranean regions, while brown mustard or Indian mustard, originated in the foothills of the Himalayas, and is commercially grown in the countries of the US, UK, Denmark and Canada. Black mustard grows in countries like Chile and some parts of US and Argentina. Saskatchewan, a province in Canada, is the world leader in the production of mustard seeds, producing half of the world's supply of mustard seeds! There are types of mustard plants besides the white, black, and brown ones, like Florida Broadleaf, Green Wave, Southern Giant Curled, Tendergreen, Red Giant, etc.
• Mustard is one of the world's oldest spices and condiments known to mankind!
• In India and Denmark, it is believed that spreading its seeds around the external sides of the homes keeps away the evil spirits!
• The American mustard consumption rate is the highest in the world!
• The National Mustard Day and the mustard festival, are both celebrated on the first Saturday of August every year!
• The name is derived from the Latin words 'mustum ardens', meaning 'burning wines', and it is so named due to the unique flavor of the crushed seeds mixed with wine grapes.
• The Mount Horab Mustard Museum in Wisconsin is entirely dedicated to the mustard plant! It stores a collection of 5,000 jars of mustard, brought from 60 countries and 50 states!
• The popular saying, "can't cut the mustard" means 'can't live up to a challenge'! There are no plausible explanations about how this saying originated as mustard plants can be easily sliced!
• The 'Triangle of U' is a popular theory that establishes the unique relation between various species of mustard plants spread all over the world! It was given in 1935 by Woo Jang-choon, a Korean botanist!
• Mustard was known for its medicinal benefits before the popular culinary uses. Greeks used its paste to cure toothache, boost appetite, and improve blood circulation.
• More than 700 million pounds of mustard are consumed worldwide every year!
Some Other Interesting Facts
Almost all parts of the plant are usable and the leaves are boiled and eaten as vegetables. They are very easy to grow and do not require much attention; however, basic needs of proper amounts of sunlight and water is a must for the plants.
This plant loves cold and so it is preferable to plant it in the early parts of spring. The seeds must be planted to ⅓ inches to ½ inches deep, and after they grow a few inches, it is essential to thin them to few inches apart. The thinned leaves can be boiled and eaten. The plant size is usually between 35 to 40 inches, depending on the environment, fertilizers used, and proper care of the plants.
With the help of modern electronic techniques, scientists have found that the seeds have incredible power and that's the reason they have been used as medicines since thousands of years. According to research, a small seed, only 1 millimeter in radius, generates a bioenergy field of 100 millimeter radius! These energy fields activate biochemical processes of the body and encourage healing processes. Because of the mustard's seed bioenergy, just like the human energy field, the seeds help to keep us healthy and fit!