In the field crops of Central and Northern India Safed Sarson, an Indian medicinal plant, is grown. The botanical name for Safed Sarson is Eruca vesicaria. However there are numerous regional names for this herb. While in Bengali it is known as Bengali Swetsursha, in Hindi it is known as Safed Sarson, Seoha, Taramira while in Marathi it is Jambho. The Punjabis have named it Assu, Jamba, Tara, Taramiri, Usan and in English it is known as Rocket Salad and Roquette. Safed Sarson also has Sanskrit names too: Kadambada, Siddartha and Sidharta.
Safed Sarson is a variable, erect annual herb growing up to 1.3 m height with fleshy-toothed leaves and yellow or lilac flowers. The fruits of the Safed Sarson are 2.5 cm long, upright and appressed to the stem. The Safed Sarson herb produces unlimited small, ovoid, light reddish-brown and smooth seeds that are arranged in a double row, in each compartment of the fruit. A variety of this Indian medicinal plant is called mustard that is also cultivated in India, principally for its seeds that yield edible oil called the taramira oil. It is used for preparing pickles.
The tender leaves of Safed Sarson plant are also used for medical purposes. These are considered to be stimulant, stomachic, diuretic and anti-scorbutic. The seeds of this plant are vesicant and reportedly have antibacterial properties. The young Safed Sarson plant is eaten as a vegetable in India.
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