When you are low on strength, will, and faith, just look at the foundation of Creation: seeds. Become one with their reason of existence and the results they bring from within. The fountain of joy can overflow for you just by examining the little wonders of our everyday living.
My ‘Clean Monday’ Orthodox Christian holiday has a little bit of that. Especially this year with both COVID and war challenging us.
In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus said: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds, but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.” Meaning it is not about quantity (big or small), but about the strength of our faith! And it is not the only time that Gospels write about mustard seeds, their magnificent power and the results they bring at the start of Spring. And here is why.
These tiny little seeds have the magnificent power to overcome any difficulties of the soil, barren, cold, and hard from wintertime. They are the first to thrive and fill in any empty field worldwide. Agriculture classifies it as a powerful weed. Botany classifies it as a miracle of plant evolution. The little seedlings become tall yellow plants, swaying the wind with pride in any land. And this is not their only power.
Both mustard plants and their seeds (Sinapis alba) have multiple uses. The fresh peaks with flowers give a great spicy and warm taste in salads (raw) or traditional ‘pites’ (cooked). They are a great addition to traditional ‘mezedes’ of Clean Monday. But their true power is deeply rooted (like their own roots). Mustard flower water helps you when you are feeling down, when you are depressed and a black cloud overcomes you without any particular reason. It will fill you with the bright yellow color you see in the moody empty fields.
On the other hand, it essentials oil has a broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Recent research has shown that it has stronger antioxidant properties than citrus pectin and xanthan gum.
Note that the seeds can irritate the skin and the wild plant is poisonous when seeds are formed – cultivated mustard species are the ones used for making mustard.
Undoubtedly, everything is a matter of perspective – bad or good. Feeling sad or happy in a given situation. Even in our complex ‘science and technology’ world, our deeper consciousness can keep us safe and give us shelter, often from our own enemy, our mind, our self.
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.