Bookmark and Share

Garlic Mustard Spring edition

c. 2012, Susun Weed

The middle of "sweete Aprile" already! Garlic mustard (Allaria off.) is rampant in my gardens. How about in yours? The gardener's best revenge is to bite back, so let's cut the mustard, the garlic mustard, that is.
But only figuratively, cut it, that is. In fact, you might as well leave your scissors or knife in the house. We aren't going to cut the garlic mustard so much as pull it out, roots and all. Garlic mustard acts as a biennial in my region: plants overwinter and flower in their second year. The first year plants are thickly underfoot and will be ready for salads soon.

It"s the second years plants we're after. To me, the optimum time to harvest is just before the garlic mustard sends up its flowering stalk, [photo 3] before the greens get too bitter. But the flowering stalks have emerged so quickly this year we have been forced to eat them, too. They are actually very yummy, succulent and delicious, bitter like broccoli rabe, which it resembles when in bud.

Since I am pulling the plant up by the roots, I am killing it. I communicate silently to the plant, telling each one that I acknowledge that I am giving death to them. I don't ask permission, but I don't assume I have the right to take. I am clear about my intention and I invite the plants to be part of what I am doing. I put the garlic mustard plants, roots down, in a large bowl of cold water as I harvest to keep them from wilting and to soak the dirt off the roots. (Do shake off excess soil and leave it in your garden.)

Two dozen large plants is a good amount to start with. Don't harvest more than you can process.

In the kitchen, I use sturdy scissors to cut the leaves off the roots, leaving most of the leaf stalks (the petioles) on the roots. I toss them into a large bowl of cold water, where they can soak for up to two hours with no harm. Keep those roots! We will use them to make vinegar or Wild Horseradish Condiment next week.

Remove garlic mustard leaves from their cold water bath and put them in a colander. Notice that there is dirt in the bottom of the bowl of water. Rinse the bowl out and fill it again with cold water. Put the garlic mustard in the water and swish it around. Pick it over and remove "foreign matter" that you don't wish to eat. Then put it back in the colander. Is the water in the bowl is clear? You are ready for the next step. If there is still dirt is at the bottom, rinse the bowl and repeat swishing and picking until the water is clear, then proceed with recipe.

This cooked green keeps refrigerated for 5-8 days.

Cut the Mustard Greens

One bunch rinsed and picked garlic mustard greens.
1-3 heads of garlic
Olive oil
Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over a brisk flame and add thinly sliced garlic. Saute until the garlic softens, then toss in the garlic mustard greens.
Stir and saute over fast fire for a minute or two. Lower heat to a simmer, and stir in a little water.
Cover tightly, lower heat, and cook for 45-50 minutes. I like to add a splash of tamari before serving.

From the Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

For permission to reprint this article, contact us at:

Visit Susun Weed at: and

Susun Weed’s books:

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
Author: Susun S. Weed.
Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.

Order at:

Healing Wise
Author: Susun S. Weed.
Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations.


NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed.
The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Introduction by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations.

For excerpts visit:

Breast Cancer? Breast Health!

Author: Susun S. Weed.
Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations.


Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way
Publication date: June 21, 2011
Author: Susun S. Weed
Simple, successful, strategies cover the entire range of options -- from mainstream to radical -- to help you choose the best, and the safest, ways to optimize sexual and reproductive health. Foreword: Aviva Romm, MD, midwife, 484 pages, Index, illustrations.

Order at:

Abundantly Well - Seven Medicines The Complementary Integrated Medical Revolution
Publication date: December 2019
Author: Susun S. Weed
Seven Medicines build foundational health and guide you to the best health care when problems arise. Includes case studies, recipes, exentsive references and resources. Introduction by Patch Adams illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard 352 pages, index, illustrations

Order at:


For Wholesale orders see our terms letter or contact us at:

Ash Tree Publishing PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498 ~
Website: ~

Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopedic knowledge of herbs and health. She is the voice of the Wise Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening support and nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations for three decades. Ms. Weed's Six herbal medicine books focus on women's health topics including: menopause, childbearing, and breast health. Visit her site for information on her workshops, apprenticeships, correspondence courses and more! Venture into the Menopause site to learn all about the Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.
Join Susuns Mentorship site for personal one on one mentorship! We also invite you to visit our commerce site to learn about our Wise Woman publications, workshops, correspondence courses. As well as online courses at Wise Woman School.


back to articles index

back to press kit

© Susun Weed -Wise Woman Center
~ Disclaimer & Privacy Policy ~