Charlock (Sinapis arvensis)

Annual
Brassica arvensis. B. kaber. B. sinapis. B. sinapistrum.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Charlock
Sinapis arvensis
Cruciferae

An edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is also used in making soap[74] and burns well so can be used for lighting[4].

  • Medicinal Use

    The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Black depression’, ‘Melancholia’ and ‘Gloom'[209].

  • Edible Use

    Leaves – raw or cooked[2, 4, 5, 12, 74]. Somewhat hot, the young leaves are used as a flavouring in salads, where they add a piquant flavour[9, 183]. Older leaves are used as a potherb[183]. It is best to use just the young shoots and leaves in the spring, older leaves are bitter[9].

    Flowering stems – cooked[9, 74]. A pleasant, cabbage/radish flavour, they can be used as a broccoli substitute before the flowers open[183]. The stems should be lightly steamed for no more than 5 minutes[9]. The flowers can also be cooked as a vegetable or used as a garnish[183].

    Seed – it can be sprouted and eaten raw[12]. A hot flavour, it can be added to salads and sandwiches[183].

    The seed can be ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring. It has a hot mustard flavour[4, 9, 46, 115].

    An edible oil is obtained from the seed[1, 57, 74].

  • Cautionary Notes

    The plant is possibly poisonous once the seedpods have formed[76].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – germinates in spring and autumn in the wild. It should not really need much encouragement.
Usually found on heavy alkaline soils in the wild[17]. Succeeds on most soils. Dislikes shade. The plant harbours an eelworm that attacks other crops[13]. It is therefore best not to grow it in a garden setting.
Europe, including Britain, south and east from Norway to N. Africa, Siberia and S.W. Asia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.