Garlic mustard is an invasive biennial plant all across the Northwest, Northeast, and Midwest of the US. It has earned this interesting name due to the garlic-like odor its leaves impart upon crushing.
The shape of garlic mustard leaves is quite diverse. In the first year of its growth, they are round and appear in a rosette fashion above the ground. While in its second year, the leaves make way for the flowering stem which gives the plant a somewhat triangular, more like a heart-shaped, appearance. In spring, it produces gorgeous white flowers with four petals.
As much as it is hailed as a threat to biodiversity, its taste has led it to the recipes of dips, salads, sauces, and stir-fries. Medicinally, its leaves act as an antiseptic and have been used to treat leg ulcers, sores, bruises, common cold, and cough. Garlic mustard is also an excellent diaphoretic and can be used to reduce fever as it induces sweating. It helps with digestive issues, especially colic, and aids in dissolving the kidney stones.