Herb: Charlock


Latin name: Sinapis arvensis


Synonyms: Brassica arvensis, Brassica kaber, Brassica sinapis


Family: Cruciferae



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:



Plant:
Annual


Height:
75 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
May to
July

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.