Unani Sarson

Brassica juncea (Linn.) Czern. & Coss.

Siddha/Tamil ► Kadugu.

Action ► Stimulant, diuretic, emetic, rubefacient, counter-irritant. Used externally for bronchitis and rheumatic pains (increases flow of blood to a specific area). Powdered seeds are used as a tea for colds, influenza and fever.

The seeds contain glycosinolates (the derivatives are responsible for tox-icity). The concentration of the major glucosinolate, gluco-napin, varies from 0.64 to 1.8% in the oil-free meal of Indian brassicas. The glucosinolates in rapeseed meal split upon enzymatic hydrolysis to produce glucose, potassium, hydrogen sulphate and a sulphur-containing compound which undergoes intramolecular rearrangement to give rise to the antinutritional factors, isothiocyanates or thiocyanates.

The volatile oil of mustard is given internally in colic; in overdoses it is highly poisonous and produces gastro-enteric inflammations. It is employed externally as a liniment for rheumatic pains.

Adulteration of mustard oil with argemone oil (Argemone mexicana is frequently found growing in brassica fields), by accident or by design, has led to the widespread epidemics of dropsy and glaucoma due to an alkaloid sanguinarine.

Black mustard contains sinigrin, which on hydrolysis by enzyme my-rosin, produces allyisothiocynate; the white mustard contains sinalbin, which produces p-hydroxybenzyl isothiocy-nate. Mucilage contains sinapine.

Dosage ► Seed—500 mg to 1 g paste. (API Vol. III.)

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