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Edible uses


Leaves - raw or cooked[1][2][3][4][5]. A peppery flavour that can range from mild to hot, this is one of the most highly prized cooked vegetables in the Orient[6]. The young raw leaves are pleasantly spicy but older leaves, particularly when the plant runs to seed, can become overpoweringly hot though they are still nice cooked at this stage[6]. The leaves can be finely shredded and added to mixed salads[6]. The protein extracted from the leaves mixes well with banana pulp and is well adapted as a pie filling[7].

Flowers and young flowering stems - raw or cooked[4]. Sweet and succulent[8]. An edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed[9][10][11][12][7]. The seed contains 25 - 30% oil[13]. The seed is used as a mustard flavouring[14]. It is the source of 'brown mustard'[7], a prepared mustard that is milder than that produced from other species[15]. Pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed - an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 - 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild bitter mustard[15]. Black mustard comes from B. nigra and white mustard from Sinapis alba. The seed is also used whole in curries and pickles[15]. They are often heated in oil to destroy their pungency and give them a nutty flavour[15]. The root of some forms of this species is edible[7].

Sprouted seeds can be added to salads.

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Material uses

There is some evidence that if this plant is grown as a green manure it is effective in reducing soil-borne root rots in pea crops[6]. This is attributed to chemicals that are given off as the plants decay[6].

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Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Reported to be anodyne, aperitif, diuretic, emetic, rubefacient, and stimulant, the plant is a folk remedy for arthritis, foot ache, lumbago, and rheumatism[16].

The seed is used in the treatment of tumours in China[16]. In Korea, the seeds are used in the treatment of abscesses, colds, lumbago, rheumatism, and stomach disorders[16]. The root is used as a galactagogue in Africa[16]. Ingestion may impart a body odour repellent to mosquitoes[16]. Mustard oil is used in the treatment of skin eruptions and ulcers[16]. Believed to be aperient and tonic, the volatile oil is used as a counterirritant and stimulant[16]. In Java the plant is used as an antisyphilitic emmenagogue[16]. Leaves applied to the forehead are said to relieve headache[16].

The Chinese eat the leaves in soups for bladder, inflammation or haemorrhage[16].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Green manure


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow in situ from June to October. Spring-sown crops tend to run quickly to seed, though they can be eaten whilst still small[6]. It is best not to sow the seed in very hot weather[6]. There are about 5,660 - 6,000 per 0.01 kg (1/3 oz)[16].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Brassica juncea multiceps. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Succeeds in full sun in most well-drained moisture-retentive fertile soils[17][18][6]. Prefers a heavy soil and some shade[17]. Dislikes very hot weather[2]. Plants tolerate high rainfall and, although fairly deep rooted, are not very drought resistant[6].

A form of B. juncea that has been selected for its edible leaves, there are many named varieties[6]. They prefer a fairly high stable temperature and are well adapted to short day length[18]. Many are best grown in warmer climates than Britain but there are several cultivars that grow well in this country[6]. Plants have a rooting depth of between 90 - 120 cm[16].

A good bee plant[13].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Brassica juncea multiceps. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Brassica juncea multiceps.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Brassica juncea multiceps
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

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