Mustard – Tiny Seeds with Huge Potential.
Mustard is an annual plant of the cruciferous family (Brassicaceae). It is now widely distributed in North Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Due to its high taste characteristics and delicate aroma, mustard is actively used all over the world in cooking, as well as in medical practice.
Mustard has been used since the Stone Age as a spice, condiment, cooking oil, and medicine. Mustard oil has been an essential part of North Indian cuisine for 4,000 years. The plant was used as a natural remedy for scorpion stings in the 6th century BC.
Among the 40 known types of mustard, Brassica nigra (black mustard) and Brassica hirta (white mustard) are the most popular. White and black mustard seeds are most commonly used in Indian cuisine. They pair well with Ayurvedic herbs and spices such as ginger, cayenne, turmeric, asafoetida, and coriander.
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light), Snigdha (oily, lubricating)
Rasa (taste) – Katu (spicy), Tikta (bitter)
Vipaka – Katu (pungent after digestion)
Veerya – Ushna (warming)
Influence on Tridosha – balances Kapha and Vata, increases Pitta dosha.
Mustard seeds contain a complex of active biological substances and chemical elements, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Along with this, this plant is an excellent source of folic acid and vitamin A.
Ripe mustard seeds contain up to 35% fatty oil (Oleum sinapis). The distinctive smell and taste of the spice is given by sinalbin glycoside, as well as aromatic potassium salt.
Part Used – Seed, Seed Oil
Dosage – 2-4 g of seed powder
Medical properties of White Mustard:
– acts as a cardiac tonic, good for the heart – increases Pitta – improves digestion
– skin diseases
– itching, pruritus
– voice and throat related disorders
– mental disorders – helminthic infestations
– digestive and metabolic disorders
– hearing impairment
– headache due to increased vata dosha
– diseases of the spleen, splenomegaly
– abdominal pain
– induces sleep
– increases Pitta
– skin diseases – inflammation
– balances Kapha and Pitta doshas.
In cases of paralysis, mustard paste helps improve blood and heat circulation.
In the case of bruises, the use of mustard helps to remove them, relieve pain and burning.
In the case of arthritis, impaired mobility, as in rheumatoid arthritis, the use of mustard paste helps to improve heat circulation and joint flexibility.
Mustard paste for skin diseases:
In the treatment of skin diseases accompanied by itching and pain, it is useful to apply mustard paste.
In these cases, mustard seeds are made into a paste with water, applied to the affected areas for 5 to 10 minutes, then washed off.
It is also applied on a wet cloth wrapped around the affected area.
In case of burning sensation, the paste must be removed immediately.
Side effects: Mustard increases Pitta dosha. Therefore, it is best to avoid its use for various burning sensations, such as burning during urination, bleeding disorders, or gastritis.
Mustard should be used in small amounts in childhood, during pregnancy and lactation.
It is not recommended for people with myocardial diseases, gastritis, stomach or intestinal ulcers, pulmonary tuberculosis, peptic ulcers, inflammation of the kidneys, pregnancy, and increased pitta. It should be used with caution in people with sensitive skin types. Remember about individual intolerance or an allergic reaction. In large quantities, it is not recommended for children under 2 years of age.
Mustard leaves are stinging, absorbent, hot and penetrating. This causes an imbalance in the doshas. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid them in the diet.
Culinary Uses: White and black mustard seeds are most commonly used in Indian cuisine. Before adding to the dish, mustard seeds are fried in oil. This activates the aromatic oils they contain, fully unlocking their spicy and healing properties, and giving the food a tangy, nutty flavor. Spicy mustard seeds kindle the fire of digestion, stimulate the stomach and intestines. Mustard seeds are the richest source of carbohydrates, fats, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and other nutrients. There are about 15 kilocalories in 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds. The taste is pungent and bitter. Mustard contains such active ingredients as sinalbin, sinapin, myrosin, a lot of protein (25 g per 100 g), phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, sodium, vitamin B1 and B2.
The nutritional power of active magnesium in mustard helps to maintain healthy tone and function of blood vessels.
Caution: Mustard seeds will jump out of the pot when roasted.
Mustard Oil: Edible mustard oil is completely different from essential oil by extraction method. Vegetable edible oil is obtained by cold pressing seeds, and essential oil – by steam distillation of seeds previously soaked in water.
Mustard essential oil can be used for both curative and preventive purposes and is an extremely important part of Ayurveda for cleansing therapy as well as stimulating and revitalizing the vital systems of the body.
Mustard culinary oil is used for body massage to improve blood circulation and reduce dry skin. The pungent aroma of the oil increases appetite and stimulates the secretion of digestive juices. Massaging the abdomen with 2 drops of mustard oil mixed with sesame oil helps speed up the digestion process.
The essential oil of mustard penetrates deep into the skin and is a powerful tool for pacifying excess Vata dosha, which helps to cure diseases of the central nervous system, as well as Vata related inflammatory processes and fluid metabolism disorders.
For pinched nerves, osteochondrosis, spinal hernia mix 2 drops of mustard oil with coconut oil and gently massage in a circular motion in the affected areas of the back.
To protect your teeth and gums from germs, add 1 drop of mustard oil to a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth thoroughly.
For hair and skin
Essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and other active ingredients present in Mustard essential oil make it an effective natural treatment for hair loss and premature graying. Essential oil of mustard revitalizes hair follicles and strengthens their roots.
Heat 3-4 drops of essential oil mixed with 1 ml of sesame oil and massage gently on the scalp at the hair roots. Leave this mixture for one hour and then wash off with a mild herbal shampoo. Use this mask once a week to improve blood circulation, strengthen roots, and increase natural shine. Gently massaging the skin with 2 drops of mustard essential oil mixed with 1 ml of jojoba oil stimulates circulation, opens pores and expels Ama (toxins) through sweat.
Pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and can be harmful to the skin. Always use it diluted with a carrier oil. Be sure to do a patch test on your skin before using any massage oil.
TODAY’S TIP: For a severe headache, crush the seeds, mix with warm water and apply a cloth smeared over this paste to the calves and back of the neck at the same time. Hold for 30 minutes.