Latin name: Sinapis arvensis
Synonyms: Brassica arvensis, Brassica kaber, Brassica sinapis
Medicinal use of Charlock:The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are "Black depression", "Melancholia" and "Gloom".
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Cultivated ground, usually on heavy calcareous soils. A serious weed of agriculture, especially in spring sown crops.
Edible parts of Charlock:Leaves - raw or cooked. Somewhat hot, the young leaves are used as a flavouring in salads, where they add a piquant flavour. Older leaves are used as a potherb. It is best to use just the young shoots and leaves in the spring, older leaves are bitter. Flowering stems - cooked. A pleasant, cabbage/radish flavour, they can be used as a broccoli substitute before the flowers open. The stems should be lightly steamed for no more than 5 minutes. The flowers can also be cooked as a vegetable or used as a garnish. Seed - it can be sprouted and eaten raw. A hot flavour, it can be added to salads and sandwiches. The seed can be ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring. It has a hot mustard flavour. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.
Other uses of the herb:An edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is also used in making soap and burns well so can be used for lighting.
Propagation of Charlock:Seed - germinates in spring and autumn in the wild. It should not really need much encouragement.
Cultivation of the herb:Cultivated ground, usually on heavy calcareous soils. A serious weed of agriculture, especially in spring sown crops.
Known hazards of Sinapis arvensis:The plant is possibly poisonous once the seedpods have formed.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.