Oriental mustard seeds

oriental mustard seeds

Oriental mustard seeds are seeds of an annual, summer crop plant Brassica juncea.  Just like yellow mustard seeds and brown mustard seeds, oriental mustard seeds are highly useful in medicine, industry and cuisine. The plant is also known as Indian mustard or oilseed mustard.

Brassica juncea absorbs selenium that passes through its roots with water. It is believed to be able to absorb much more selenium (4.5 times more) than other types of mustard plants. There is scientific research being carried out aiming at further enhancement of this capability so that Oriental mustard plants can absorb between 10 and 100 times more selenium than wild mustard. There are also efforts undertaken by scientists to use selenium-rich Oriental mustard as feed for cattle with dietary selenium deficencies.

Genetically modified Oriental mustard is also used in phytoremediation processes. First of all, it can clean the soil of excessive selenium. This has been confirmed with field tests in California: in some parts of this state arable land requires extensive irrigation. However, this very process causes selenium to be transported with water from shales to the surface, where it accumulates and its concentration becomes toxic for plants. Secondly, Brassica juncea is very effective at removing heavy metals (e.g. cadmium) from soil because it has a higher tolerance for these substances.