Brassica Juncea Hook

Botanical Name: Brassica Juncea Hook

Sanskrit Name: Rajika



Vernacular names :

  1. Hindi – badshahrai
  2. Telugu –peddaavalu
  3. Malayalam –kadugu
  4. Tamil –kadugu


Asuri, Ksut- janika ,Rajakshavaka

Classical Categorization


  • Kandughna – group of herbs useful to relieve itching, pruritis
  • Asthapanopaga – group of herbs useful in decoction enema
  • Shirovirechanopaga – group of herbs useful in nasya treatment

Susruta– Pippalyadi

Vaghbata– Kandughna, Pippalyadi

BhavaPrakasha, KaiyadevaNighantu –DhanyaVarga (grains)

DhanvantariNighantu – KaraveeradiVarga

Rajanighantu– ShalyadiVarga


Brassica Juncea Hook is an annual herb which grows upto 1.5 m hieght bearing yellow flowers. It is cultivated in many parts   of India In the   context of ‘Sakavarga’ Susruta mentioned two varieties of mustrad i.e.;   Sarsapa and Rajika (S.S.Su. 46/221).

We also come across   another variety of mustrad in the name of Siddartha which   is B. alba.Thakur Balvant Singh identified Asuri’ (C.S.Su.27/98 and A.H.Su.6/106) as B. nigra (Linn) koch. But there   appears to be difference in the   names   of Asuri in C.S.   and Asuri in A.H.   and also in their properties. Dalhana identifies Raja ksavaka (S.S.Su.36/ 276) with KrsnaRajika   i.e., B. nigra   Linn.

Varieties :

In general 3 varieties

  1. White mustard – Sinapis alba
  2. Red mustard / brown mustard
  3. Black bustard – Brassica nigra L. Koch

Botanical details

Erect ,30-40 cm. tall, branched, hispid, annualherbs. Basal leaves lyrate-pinnatipartite; middle ones obovate-oblong, pinnatilobed; upper ones lanceolate; entiredentate. Racemes 20-40-flowered, up to 30 cm. long in fruit’ Flowers yellow, 7 mm. across; pedicels 5-8 mm’ long’ in creasing to 15 mm in fruit. Sepals 46 x 1.5 mm.,subequal. Petals 6-9 x 2.5-3 mm.,obovate, clawed, apex rounded. Stamens 4- 6;5-8 mm. long;2-3 mm. broad. Pods 2.5-6 cm. long, linear; seeds rounded, reticulate, blackish-brown.

A tall, much-branched annual,   1-1.8 m in height, cultivated in the plains and lower hills, being more common in Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. The oleiferousjuncea are cultivated in many countries, chiefly from   India   to western Egypt, Central Asia (southern or south-eastern parts of USSR) and Europe. Leafy mustards used as vegetable are widely cultivated in Asian countries, centered in China. Leaves petiolate, lyrately lobed except in the region of the inflorescence, radical leaves with a large ,round terminal lobe; flowers bright yellow, in short   corymbs   about   2-5 cm long when the lowest flowers open, subsequently elongating into a raceme about   20 cm long; siliqua containing   c 40 yellowish or reddish brown seeds.


Brassica Juncea Hook is a self-fertile species and its leaves are not stem clasping like those of toria or sarson. Within brown mustard, there are two distinct oil-yielding varieties : (z1 var. juncea and (iz1 var. sareptanaSinsk. (syn.SinapisramosaRoxb., B. juncea subsp. juncea var. oleiferaPrain). It is assumed that B. juncea first evolved in the Middle East. Many distinct hybridizations in different geographical places were followed by evolution. While the Indian forms mainly developed in the direction of the oleiferous types, the Chinese groups evolved towards the leafy types. In India, the seeds are used in curry as mustard powder or oil. Some times,their leaves are eaten. The early bolting north eastern types, the late bolting north  western   types and the intermediate types are recognized in India.

Chemical constituents

Seed – sinigrin, gluconapin, sinapine


Rasa –katu

Guna –tikshna ,laghu

Virya – usna

Vipaka –katu

Karma –kaphavatahara, kesya, bhutagna,


Kustha, kandu, krimi

Part used

Seed, seed oil


Seed powder 1-2g

Therapeutic uses

Yakrithodara&Plihodara-   Mustard powder is mixed   with

equal quantity of rock salt powder and cow’s urine and given in

a dose of 8-10 g (G.N.)

Mustard medicinal Properties

White mustard uses – Siddharta (ShwetaSarshapa)

Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart

Rakta Pitta Vardahana – increases Pitta and worsens blood vitiation.

Agnivardhana – improves digestion strength

  • Mustard seed paste external application in wounds, abscess and swellings:
  • In cases of abscess / wounds with initial stage of pus formation, mustard paste is applied to quicken pus formation, before incision and draining.
  • In cases of wounds with slough, a thin layer of mustard paste applied, gets rid of the slough.
  • It relieves pain and swelling associated with wound / abscess / edema.
  • Mustard paste application in neurological conditions:
  • In cases of paralysis, mustard paste helps to improve blood circulation and warmth.
  • In case of petechial patches, sub cutaneous bleeding spots, mustard application helps to relieve the patches, pain and burning sensation.
  • In case of arthritis and other joint conditions with stiffness, as in rheumatoid arthritis, mustard paste application helps to improve warmth and joint flexibility.
  • Mustard paste for skin disorders:
  • In cases of skin disorders involving itching and pain, mustard paste application is useful.
  • In these cases, mustard seed is ground with water, made into paste, applied over the affected area for 5 – 10 minutes, then the paste is removed.
  • It can also be applied to a wet cloth and then the cloth is wrapped over the affected area.
  • While the paste is applied, if the patient feels burning sensation, then the paste has to be removed immediately.

Side effects

  • Brassica Juncea Hook  increases Pitta dosha. Hence, it is best to avoid this during excess burning sensation, burning urination, bleeding disorders, gastritis.
  • Brassica Juncea Hook can be used in small quantities in children, during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Pigeon meat fried in mustard oil acts as poison.
  • The leaves of mustard causes Vidaha – burning sensation, has absorbent, hot and strong piercing qualities. It causes Dosha imbalance. Hence advised to avoid it in diet.

Research details

The oil content of the seeds ranges between 30 and 38 per cent. Certain varieties cultivated in Uttar Pradesh and locally known as laha, lahi and lahta have a higher oil content ( 42-43 %).

  • Rai( mustard substitute ) usually yields less fatty oil than toria or sarson. The oil does not have the peculiar rancid smell of the latter two. In West Bengal it is much relished as cooking oil. In the Soviet Union, it is used in place of olive oil. The seeds contain the glucosinolate,   sinigrin, which on hydrolysis by the enzyme myrosinase (also known as thioglucoidase or thioglucosideglucohydrolase) which occurs naturally in the seeds, gives the volatile oil. Widely varying figures have been given for the volatile oil content of the seeds (up to 2.9%). The oil has the fol• lowing   characteristics:   sp   gr,   0.995;   n0,     1.5185; [a]0, + 0.12′. It is reported to be a mixture of carbon disulphide, ally! isothiocyanate, ally! thiocyanate and 3-butenyl   isothiocyanate   (Van Etten   et al, loc. cit.; Croft, J SciFdAgric, 1979, 30, 417; Kirk et al, J Amer Oil ChemSoc, 1964, 41, 599; Shankaranara• yana et al, FlavourInd, 1972, 3, 75).
  • The   chemical analysis of the leaves and tender shoots of different mutants   of rai grown at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, gave the following ranges of values (dry matter basis): dry matter, 8.54- 11.68; protein,   28.31-37.38; ether   extr,   3.68-6.9; crude   fibre,   7.25-13.87;   N-free   extr,   36.87-47.96; and mineral matter, 8.48-14.20%. The sugar content of the leaves and tender shoots ranged from 6.5 to 8.5 per cent and ascorbic acid content from 0.071 to 0.077   per   cent on dry wt basis,   during bud   and flower formation;   the highest nutritional value was during this period. The   ascorbic acid and carotene contents   diminish during   sun-drying   of the leaves (Labana et al, J FdSciTechnol, 1973, 10, 125; ChemAbstr, 1976, 84, 178701; 1959, 53, 20306).
  • juncea subsp. integrifolia (West.) Thell. syn. SinapiscuneifoliaRoxb. (Beng.-Lahisag,   lai.. Hindi Barlai, rai) is a herb cultivated in Punjab, West Ben gal and Assam for its young leaves which are consumed as a pot-herb. The plants look like cabbage because of the rosette of dark bluish green, wedge shaped leaves with broad midribs and petioles. The leaves are eaten as such or they are pickled in brineThey are reported to be a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B (Brown, 1941, II,30; Quisumbing, 332).
  • -Var.   rugosa (Roxb.) Tsen& Lee   syn.   SinapisrugosaRoxb. (Beng. – Pasai; Hindi-Paharirai) is the only cabbage-like vegetable that existed in the country prior to introduction of cabbages and cauliflowers. It is grown as a cold weather crop in the western, central and eastern Himalayas. It is also grown in various states of North India by a large number of saag lovers. A number   of high yielding selections   have been produced in this crop. It is common in Nepal and   is   reported to be   originally   introduced from Tibet.   It is   a herb   with permanent radical   leaves forming a loose head, 30 cm in diam. At the time of flowering, a stout stem, 1.2-1.8 m in height, shoots up. The leaves are dried in the sun and pickled. They are   credited   with anti-dysenteric, diaphoretic and anthelmintic   properties; a decoction of the seeds is given in lumbago, cough and indigestion [Duthie, I,42; Mansfeld, 91; Kirtikar&Basu, I, 167; Shah &Joshi, Econ Bot, 1971, 25, 414; Rai, Indian Fmg, N s, 1930.:s1, 30(4), 15].

Courtesy : The Wealth of India series , DravyaGuna by Dr. J.L.N. Sastry , InidanMateriaMedica by VaidyaBhagwan Dash , DravyaGuna by Dr. GnjanendraPandey