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Hedge Mustard

  • Sisymbrium officinale L.

Common Names

herbsEnglish watercress

Parts Usually Used

The herb

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Hedge mustard is a common, much-hated, annual weed; grows 1-4 feet high, the purple-hued, branching stem bears light green, lyrately pinnatifid or pinnate leaves with dentate or coarsely toothed segments. The small, yellow flowers grow in terminal racemes from April to November. Beneath the flower clusters, linear or oblong seed pods develop, closely pressed to the axis in a long, slender raceme. The seeds resemble those of mustard.

Where Found

Found in fields and waste places all over North America; except the extreme north. Also found in Europe.

Medicinal Properties

Diuretic, expectorant, stomachic


The tea is popularly used in Europe for colds, coughs, hoarseness, chest congestion, laryngitis, bronchial catarrh.

Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. of the plant in 1/2 cup water for 4-5 minutes. Take 1 1/2 to 2 cups per day, a mouthful at a time. For catarrhal problems, sweeten with honey if desired.

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