Physicians of the 17th century prescribed hedge mustard as a remedy for singers, actors, and speakers to help keep a clear and powerful voice.
Hedge Mustard Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name – Sisymbrium officinale Scopoli.
- Other Names – English watercress, erysimum, thalictroc.
- French – Érysimum, herbe aux chantres.
- Spanish – Erísimo, hierba de los cantores.
- Environment – Common to unfarmed lands near populated areas in all of Europe. It is known in America.
- Description – Plant of the Cruciferae family, growing from 40 to 100 cm high, with an upright, straight stem, big, deeply lobulated leaves, and small, pale yellow flowers.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally – Flower clusters and leaves.
Hedge mustard is similar to mustard in appearance, flavor, and composition. It contains a sulfured essential oil that, when in contact with the mouth and pharynx mucosal membrane, provokes a greater flow of blood to the larynx and bronchi by means of a reflex mechanism, thus promoting productive coughing.
It has bechic (easing cough and throat irritation), anti-inflammatory, and expectorant components. It is beneficial in pharyngitis, hoarseness, or aphonia caused by laryngitis (inflammation of the vocal strings) and bronchitis. The best results are achieved when internal use (infusion) and external uses (mouth rinses and gargles) are combined.
How to use Hedge Mustard
- Infusion with 50 grams of flower clusters per liter of water. Sweeten with honey and drink up to five or six hot cups a day.
- Rinses and gargles with the same infusion employed for internal use. Sweeten if desired. Remember not to swallow the liquid employed for rinses and gargles.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 211. Print.