Local Name/English Name: Flowering Period: Status: Part Used: Habit/Habitat:
Sarsoon, Wirai, Sarion/Mustard November-April Common cultivated plant Whole plant
A cultivated plant, mostly cultivated in or alongside wheat fields. Pakistan: Cultivated in all four provinces. World: Widely cultivated throughout the world, including Europe, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean region. A small herb up to 1 m tall. Roots cylindrical. Stem reduced at first but later becomes erect, herbaceous, branched hairy, green. Leaves simple, alternate, hairy, lobed; terminal lobe is rounded and lateral lobes are smaller, reduced in size toward the base, and sessile. Flowers yellow, in racemes. Fruit green to yellow pods (Siliqua) with numerous smaller seeds (Fig. 3.30).
Family Name: Brassicaceae
Collection: 2 kg of fresh pods is collected by men, women, and children 12-40 years old. Fruit (pods) are collected in spring (March-April) and seeds are collected in summer (April-June). Recipes: 2 kg of fresh pods is first ground for 8-10 min.
These crushed pods are then spread on a piece of cloth and placed in sunlight for 7-8 h. After drying, the crushed pods are removed from the cloth and again ground for 3-4 min. This powder (pakhi) is then stored in a glass bottle and given to patients suffering from leucor-rhoea, body weakness, menstrual disorder, gleets, and internal pain. For children, not used. For adults, 1-2 tsp (10-12 g) of this powder drug (at one time) is given with 1 cup of milk twice daily (morning-evening) for 15-20 days.
Diseases Cured: Leucorrhoea, menstrual disorder, gleets, body weakness, and internal pain. Ethnobotanical Uses: Leaves and young stem are cooked as spinach
(sag). Whole plant is given as fodder to milk-producing cattle to increase milk production. Brassica oil is used in cooking and during body and hair massages. Seed cakes, locally known as khal, are also used as delicious fodder for milk-producing cattle. Phytochemicals: Seed oils yield ocolaza; green top contains potash, fixed oil, sinigrin glycosides, myrosin _enzyme, erucic acid, and volatile oil [6, 16].
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