Brown mustard seed is obtained from black mustard (Brassica nigra), an annual pasture plant in the cabbage family.

​The hulled seeds have a spicier flavor than yellow mustard seed and are the variety used in Indian cuisine to season curries. The whole seeds are also heated in oil to produce a nutty flavor before they are added to stews, soups, salads and other foods.  

​If you live in the Southwest U.S. and northern parts of Mexico, you have seen the wild version of this mustard plant.  It is very prolific. Wildcrafting is perfectly safe, but timing is everything, as the pods burst open and disperse their yield. 

Background: Mustard is well known as a culinary condiment.

​Safety: There is no negative safety information available for this herb.
Consult your health care provider before beginning use of any herb

​The plant is believed to be native to the southern
Mediterranean region of Europe and possibly South Asia where it has
been cultivated for thousands of years.The spice is generally made
from ground seeds of the plant, with the seed coats removed. The
small (1 mm) seeds are hard and vary in color from dark brown to
black. They are flavorful, although they have almost no aroma.
The seeds are commonly used in Indian cuisine, for example in curry, where it is known as rai. The seeds are usually thrown into hot oil or ghee, after which they pop, releasing a characteristic nutty flavor. The seeds have a significant amount of fatty oil. This oil is used often as cooking oil in India.In Ethiopia, where it is cultivated as a vegetable in Gondar, Harar and Shewa, the shoots and leaves are consumed cooked and the seeds used as a spice. Its Amharic name is senafitch. Ground seeds of the plant

mixed with honey are widely used in eastern Europe as cough suppressant. In Eastern Canada, the use of mouche de moutarde to treat respiratory infections was popular before the advent of modern medicine. It consisted in mixing ground mustard seeds with flour and water, and creating a cataplasm with the paste. This cataplasm was put on the chest or the back and left until the person felt a stinging sensation.  

The plant itself can grow from two to eight feet tall, with racemes of small yellow flowers. These flowers are, usually up to 1/3" across, with four petals each. The leaves are covered in small hairs; they can wilt on hot days, but recover at night.

Since the 1950s, black mustard has become less popular as compared to India mustard because some cultivars of India mustard have seeds that can be mechanically harvested in a more efficient manner.

Black mustard is thought to be the seed mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 13:31-32. 

​Mustard seed, either yellow or brown are GREAT sprouts on salads and atop soups.  

Part of Plant Used


United State, Northern Mexico

Active Ingredients


Brown Mustard, United States, Northern Mexico

Brassica nigra



Whole or Powdered