Sisymbrium officinale, known as hedge mustard, Is a plant in the family Brassicaceae. It is found on roadsides and wasteland, and as a weed of arable land. A native of Europe and North Africa, it is now well-established throughout the world.
It is distinct from the mustard plants which belong to the genus Brassica. S. Officinal is similar to other Sisymbrium, but differs in its tall, erect stems with tiny flowers and fruits that are compacted parallel to the stem instead of hanging free.
Hedge-mustard is food for the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera, such as the small white
This plant is widely cultivated across Europe for its edible leaves and seeds. It is widely used as a condiment in Northern Europe (particularly Denmark, Norway and Germany).
The leaves have a bitter cabbage-like flavor and they are used either in salads or cooked as a leaf vegetable (in cultivar versions). The seeds have been used to make mustard pastes in Europe.
The Greeks believed it was an antidote to all poisons. In folk medicine, it was used to soothe sore throats – indeed one name for it is a singer’s plant. This plant “grows by our roadsides and on waste ground, where it is a common weed, with a peculiar aptitude for collecting and retaining dust… It is named by the French the ‘Singer’s Plant,’ it has considered up to the time of Louis XIV an infallible remedy for loss of voice. Jean Racine, writing to Nicolas Boileau, recommends him to try the syrup… In order to be cured of voicelessness.” It is “good for all diseases of the chest and lungs, hoarseness of voice… The juice… Made into a syrup with honey or sugar, is no less effectual… For all other coughs, wheezing and shortness of breath… The seed is held to be a special remedy against poison and venom.”It was,”formerly used for hoarseness, weak lungs and to help the voice.” Herbalists use the juice and flowers for bronchitis and stomach ailments, among other uses, and as a revitalized. In Tibetan medicine, it is used to repress the symptoms of food poisoning