The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Plant Profile: Wild Mustard

Botanical Name:forage foraging forager wildcraft edibles wild food greens survival bushcraft Arizona Colorado “New Mexico” Utah Flagstaff Phoenix Prescott Sedona “Oak Creek Canyon”
Sisymbrium irio

Family:
Brassicaceae

Common Names:
Wild Mustard, London Rocket

Southwest Habitat:
Between 1,000’ and 7,500’ – the growing season depends on the elevation. While not native to North America, it is widespread and commonly found in disturbed soil. This is a plant found along trails during Sonoran winter hikes, under juniper trees in the Verde Valley in the spring. Around Flagstaff, it can be found near many trail heads and parking areas in the Ponderosa forest once the monsoons take effect in July and August. An annual, once established it reliably returns each year.

Energy & Tastes:forage foraging forager wildcraft edibles wild food greens survival bushcraft Arizona Colorado “New Mexico” Utah Flagstaff Phoenix Prescott Sedona “Oak Creek Canyon”
Hot, dry, spicy

Plant Part Used:
Mostly the younger leaves although the flower is also used.

Preferred Method of Preparation:
It is delicious raw. The glucosinolates in the mustard family have the potential to slow thyroid function if eaten raw in quantity.  Cooking breaks down this constituent and so there is no problem. The intense pungency of wild mustard limits the amount eaten so I don’t consider cooking necessary.

Herbal Actions:
Nutritious as a wild green. Its spiciness helps break up congestion in the respiratory system and makes it a blood mover although I consider it more a food than medicine.

Therapeutic Uses:
For most people, the therapeutic use is a nutritious wild green for food. Its spiciness, sometimes resembling wasabi in flavor, make it a great addition to many dishes including egg, salads and sandwiches. It is also great to nibble while out on the land.

The mustard family in general supports the liver’s role in detoxification for both Phase I & II.

Safety Issues & Contraindications:
The main issues are proper identification and harvesting from areas free from vehicle exhaust, animal waste and herbicides.

http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SIIR

The Plant Profiles are brief materia medica summaries of plants encountered during plant walks or introduced during class on our longer programs. They are presented here to help students organize plant info on an ongoing basis. Although these Profiles are not meant to be comprehensive, they are offered here to the public in the hope that others find these pages useful.

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