'BRASSICA NIGRA' FROM 'CRUCIFERAE' FAMILY

 ABOUT 'BRASSICA NIGRA' PLANT

Brassica nigra

FAMILY:- CRUCIFERAE
 

BOTANICAL NAME:- Brassica nigra.
 

VERNACULAR NAMES :
 

SINHALA : Gan-aba, Kalu aba
TAMIL : Kadugu
ENGLISH : Black mustard.  

DESCRIPTION :
 

A large, branching, annual herb, 0.5-1.5 m tall, hispid, internodes 4-5 cm long.
 

LEAVES:- Irregularly lobed or pinnate with a large terminal lobe and 1-3 pairs of progressively smaller ones below, 11.6-17.3 cm long, terminal lobe 8.7-12.5 cm long, 5-10 cm broad, margin serrate, glabrous above and hispid along veins beneath.
 

FLOWERS:- Regular.bisexual in a terminal panicle of branched racemes, ebracteate, bracteoles foliar, lanceolate, 1.4-5.5 cm long, 0.3-1.9 cm broad.
 

FRUITS:- A fusiform, glabrous siliqua, 1-2.5 cm long; seed round and brown, 1.5-2 mm in diameter and minutely pitted (Jayaweera, 1980).
 

DISTRIBUTION :
 

Centre of origin is Euroasia. It is a weed in waste and cultivated ground in England, Asia Minor, North-western India, South Siberia, North Africa and the Mediterranean regions. It is frequently cultivated in India,Tibet and other tropical countries (Jayaweera, 1980).
 

EDIBLE PARTS : The seeds and young leaves.
FOOD USE : They are used as an ingredient of pickles and seed oil is used in food preparation. Mustard saurce is made from seeds. Edible seed oil is used in various preparations. Young leaves can be eaten as a fresh vegetable. 


NUTRITIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC VALUE:
 

Moisture - 8.5 g, 
Energy - 541 kcl, 
Proteins - 20 g, 
Fats - 39.7 g, 
Carbohydrates 23.8 g, 
Ca -490 meg, 
Phosphorus - 700 mg, 
Iron - 17,9 mg, 
Carotene - 162 mg, 
Thiamine - 650 meg, 
Riboflavin - 260 meg, 
Niacin - 4.0 mg, 
Vitamin. C-0 g.
 

Besides the alkaloid sinapine, the seeds contain myrosin, sinigrin, inosite, albumins, gums, colouring matter and fixed and volatile oils of mustard. A poultice of the ground seed is very useful for cases of febrile and inflammatory diseases, internal congestions spasmodic, neuralgic and rheumatic affections. A paste of the seed along with other ingredients is applied on pimples and urticaria. The oil extracted from the seed is a stimulant and a mild counter-irritant when applied externally. Hence it is useful against sore throat, internal congestion and chronic muscular rheumatism. Ground mustard is eaten with roast meats as it promotes digestion.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE:
 

Mustard is adopted to widely different climatic conditions. Requires low or moderate rainfall. Grows in all classes of soils except very heavy clays. 

CULTIVATION : 

Areas of cultivation - Dry zone of Sri Lanka.
 

Planting season - Maha season.
 

Planting material - Seeds
 

Planting and spacing - normally cultivated in chenas as a mixed crop with finger millet. When grown as a pure crop, seeds may be drilled in rows, 20 cm apart.
 

Harvesting - Harvest can be obtained after 90-100 days.
 

Yeilds - Pure crop will give about 200 - 250 kg 400 - 500 kg/ha.
 

STORAGE :
 

Seeds can be stored for a long time in dry containers. 

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