While it is very unlikely that you’ve never had mustard before, be it on your hotdog or as part of a more elaborate dish, you might not know that this spice can also be used as medicine or even as a beauty product.
Known health benefits of mustard include lower blood sugar levels, increased protection against infection and reduced inflammation. Some studies have shown that the compounds in mustard could even offer some protection against certain types of cancer.
While the majority of these benefits have been proven by smaller studies mostly performed on animals, they are still very promising.
What is mustard?
Mustard plants come in several dozen varieties. Their leaves are rich in calcium, copper, and vitamins C, A, and K, while their seeds contain a decent amount of fiber, selenium, magnesium, and manganese. Both can be used for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Mustard leaves, which have many names and types including brown mustard, mustard greens, vegetable mustard, Indian or Chinese mustard, are related to kale and cauliflower. They can be eaten raw or cooked, adding a gourmet note to a vast variety of dishes from salads to soups. Using the leaves of mustard can add a sharper, pepper-like flavor to your meals.
Mustard seeds are often used in salad dressings, but also as the main ingredient of mustard paste and mustard seed oil. Rich in iron, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus, the paste is probably the most popular way to consume mustard. Remember hot-dogs?
There are two ways of making mustard oil: by pressing and grinding. Pressing is a straightforward process of getting vegetable oil. Grinding is a little different. When the seeds are grinded and mixed with water, the mixture is then used to subtract the oil by distillation. Such mustard oil is lower in fat content.
Mustard oil has been popularly used in countries like India or Greece for thousands of years. The Romans added mustard seeds to their wine. Pythagoras, the Greek scientist, used it as a natural treatment for scorpion stings.
Health benefits of mustard
Because there are so many. First and foremost, mustard contains antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds thought to help protect your body against disease.
For example, it’s a great source of glucosinolates, a group of sulfur-containing compounds found in such vegetables as broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cabbage.
According to a study published by PubMed Central, glucosinolates are believed to stimulate your body’s antioxidant defenses and protect you against disease including some types of cancer, like colon and lung cancer. More precisely, these elements have been shown to help protect cells against DNA damage and prevent the growth of cancerous cells. However, these results have been achieved in test-tube studies and haven’t been studied in humans.
Mustard also contains sinigrin, a glucosinolate-derived compound thought to possess almost miraculous anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and wound-healing properties. It is also responsible for mustard’s pungent taste.
More researches published on PubMed Central link such components as carotenoids, isorhamnetin, and kaempferol to protection from type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The mustard plant has been used as a traditional remedy against various ailments for centuries. According to Kenneth Kiple, author of The Cambridge World History of Food, the ancient Romans used it to cure many diseases from epilepsy to “hysterical females”. Even though the medicine has made many steps forward since ancient Rome, mustard is still used as an effective remedy against cold.
Mustard is one of your beauty’s best friend
Yellow mustard can seem like a simple plant, but don’t be fooled. It is loaded with beta-carotene, protein, iron and calcium all of which help in promoting hair growth. They can also keep your hair healthy. Some beauticians suggest increasing blood circulation in the scalp by massaging it regularly with yellow mustard oil. Better blood circulation will help achieve a faster hair growth.
Ayurvedic specialists believe that the seeds of this plant serve as an almost miraculous beauty aid as well. According to Harish Johari, the author of Ayurvedic Massage. Traditional Indian Techniques for Balancing Body and Mind, mustard seed oil is an effective remedy for acne as it has a powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. When mixed with aloe vera gel, it acts as a great hydrating agent for the skin. The author believes that it is a rich source of antioxidants that slows down the aging process.
There is some evidence that the antioxidants in mustard can have an anti-ageing effect as well. Even though it is popularly used in home-made remedies for hair growth or acne treatment in some countries, a more in-depth research of the benefits of mustard for skin and hair is needed.
Thrilled by the potential of this nutrients-rich plant, 10 MED is launching a new line of mustard-based cosmetic products for skin and hair in 2021. We are looking forward to offering our customers high-quality products that will enhance your natural beauty.