Wild Mustard is one of those herbs that is hard to find good, solid information on, because it is like the parable of the elephant:
“He (Buddha) said to the blind men assembled there, “Here is an elephant,” and to one man he presented the head of the elephant, to another its ears, to another a tusk, to another the trunk, the foot, back, tail, and tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant.
When the blind men had felt the elephant, the raja went to each of them and said to each, “Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?”
Thereupon the men who were presented with the head answered, “Sire, an elephant is like a pot.” And the men who had observed the ear replied, “An elephant is like a winnowing basket.” Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a ploughshare. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a plough; others said the body was a grainery; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush.1
Mustard is something different to everyone. It is one of those very common weedy plants that gardeners often yank from the garden as soon as it takes hold. It is well known to wild food enthusiasts, survivalists, and people who have lived through times when food was hard to come by. Herbalists use wild mustard for many types of maladies; from sore, stiff joints, to digestive imbalance, to certain cancer treatments. Even researchers have been studying it and its impact on genetically modified food gene transfer.
It is truly a weed many can put to good use, but many have no idea what to do with this abundant weedy ally. In this issue, you will learn about wild mustard, and its culinary and medicinal uses, while also understanding the role it plays in a larger ecological view.