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Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Garlic mustard


wound healing, expectorant, disinfectant, antiseptic, slightly diuretic, antiasthmatic, diaphoretic, vermifuge

Areas of application:

To strengthen the immune system, insect bites that swell, abrasions or cuts that become infected, poorly scarred wounds, eczema, ulcers, inflamed gums, tonsillitis, for blood purification, respiratory system problems, for mild coughs or bronchitis, asthma

Plant parts used:

Leaves, flower buds, rarely the root

Collection time:

March, April

To find:

Garden plant, but also common in damp hedges, in bushes and in forest clearings.


Mustard oil glycoside, saponins, essential oil, sinigrin, carotene, minerals, vitamins


☕ Tea: Pour 1/4 liter of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of fresh herb, let it steep for 10 minutes and strain. Do not drink on an empty stomach. 2 cups per day are slightly diuretic.

Garlic mustard

The garlic mustard is a biennial to perennial plant and grows to a height of 20 to 100 cm. It has a long taproot and its stem is slightly square. The leaves at the base below are long-stalked, kidney-shaped and notched at the edge. The alternate stem leaves are heart-shaped and have a notched edge. At the end of the stem there is a racemose inflorescence with many white flowers. The flower stalks are thin and usually only about as long as the calyx. The flowers are fourfold and only 5 to 8 mm large. The four sepals are narrowly ovate and the four petals are elongated obovate. The flowers have six stamens, of which the outer two are smaller like the others. Garlic mustard blooms from April to July. The pods are thin and green when unripe until they turn light brown. The pod contains 6 to 8 seeds in each of the two compartments.

It is difficult to confuse garlic mustard with other plants because the rocket emits a strong smell of garlic when the leaves are crushed.

In terms of taste, a large sprig of garlic mustard replaces 1/2 clove of garlic. It is mainly used in the kitchen as a spice and tastes peppery and garlic-like. The finely chopped leaves can be used in salad dressings, quark and cream cheese mixtures. Just like the flavorful flowers that are edible as decoration in salads. The black seeds with their pungent taste are used like peppercorns.

Even before 4000 B.C. Garlic mustard was used as a spice in the Mesolithic period, making it the oldest best-known local spice.

Over the last 100 years we have been increasingly subjected to a process of culinary desolation. While around 450 plant species were eaten in the 19th century, modern humans eat a maximum of 30, and if they live very consciously, they eat less than 50 different species.

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