Complete insight about Mustard Oil
Mustard is a popular condiment used in Indian kitchens. It is acquired from the seeds of the mustard plant. Mustard seed is used in Ayurveda for both external application and oral use. It is used both for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is used in the treatment of worm infestation, pruritus (itching), psychiatric disorders, digestive disorders and more.
Mustard is a well-known culinary substance appreciated due to its specific aroma and carminative effect. This is a compulsory item in almost all sambhar powder, masala powder, pickle and even while seasoning of the dishes and side dishes.
It is known in Ayurveda with different names such as sarṣapa, siddhārthaka, rājikā and āsurī. Mustard is well documented in the classical Ayurvedic literature like Charaka Saṃhitā, Suśruta Saṃhitā, Bhela Saṃhitā and Kāśyapa Saṃhitā. For medicinal purposes, the seeds and oil of mustard are used singly and in various formulations in Ayurveda, while mustard leaves are used sparingly.
Botanical name and family:
White mustard, Yellow mustard – Sinapis alba Brown mustard – Brassica nigra L. Koch Sarshapa – Indian mustard – Brassica juncea L. Czern. et Cosson Family- Cruciferae (Brassicaceae)
Part used: Seed, oil
Dosage: 2 – 4 grams
Categorization of mustard in Ayurveda:
In Ayurvedic texts, mustard seeds are mentioned under the below groups:
Group of herbs that cleanse and detoxify organs in the head and neck - Śīrṣavirecana Gaṇa.
Group of herbs used for decoction enema (Āsthāpanopaga Gaṇa)
Anti-prurient group of herbs (Kaṇḍūghna Gaṇa)
Group of herbs used to induce therapeutic detoxification through vomiting (Chardana Gaṇa)
Group of herbs with pungent taste (Kaṭu rasa).
Varieties of mustard:
Ayurvedic textbook Bhavaprakasha mentions about two varieties of mustard:
White mustard, also called Siddhartha, used widely for medicinal purposes.
Brown mustard that is generally used as a condiment.
The seeds of mustard contain 35-40% of oil, sinalbin, sulfocyanide, lecithin, myrocin, potassium, magnesium etc.
Mustard qualities as per Ayurveda:
Taste: Pungent, bitter
Qualities: Light, penetrating, unctuous (oil and seeds)
Taste conversion after digestion: Pungent taste conversion after digestion
Effect on Tridosha:
Pacifies Kapha Dosha – Because of its hot potency, penetrating nature, it reduces sliminess and balances Kapha Dosha.
Pacifies Vata Dosha – Due to its hotness quality, it acts as a carminative and balances Vata Dosha.
Promotes Pitta Dosha – Because of its hotness, lightness and penetrating qualities, mustard promotes Pitta Dosha.
Mustard is frequently used for the treatment of worm infestation, skin diseases, itching, splenomegaly, stoutness and headache.
Mustard oil is an anthelmintic (used in intestinal worm infestation), pain reliever and lubricator.
Effect of mustard on various systems:
Digestive system: Because of its hot and penetrative properties, it kindles the digestive fire. Hence, it is used in weak digestion and anorexia. It is also helpful in splenomegaly.
Circulatory system: Because of its hot nature, it accelerates heartbeat. Hence, it is used in the treatment of bradycardia.
Urinary system: Because of its penetrating nature, it increases the urine production.
Reproductive system: It acts as aphrodisiac and also as a uterine stimulant.
Skin: It is used orally and externally in the treatment of Kapha Dosha associated skin ailments such as allergic dermatitis.
Use in psychiatry: Ayurveda recommends exposure to fumes of powder mix of mustard seed, rock salt and neem leaves as a preventive measure against psychiatric disorders in children.
Mustard seed has scraping action when applied in the form of paste. Because of this, it is used in treating skin diseases associated with itching, such as allergic dermatitis.
It is also useful in removing the slough collected over non healing wounds.
It enhances skin glow. For this action it is made into paste with sandalwood powder and applied as a face pack.
Mustard seed and oil are used for external application to relieve pain anywhere in the body and for the skin ailments.
To increase strength and to improve blood circulation, daily oil massage (Abhyanga) with mustard oil is recommended.
Because of its anti-bacterial action, mustard is used externally to treat wounds.
In pyorrhea, mustard oil is used for oil pulling (Gandusha therapy).
To increase skin qualities and glow, its seeds are made into a paste with herbs like aloe vera, turmeric and sandalwood and applied as facemask.
In case of discoloured skin patches on the face, such as melasma, mustard seed powder is made into a paste with herbs Manjishta (Rubia cordifolia) or Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) and applied over the skin patches.
- To make into a paste, 5 grams of these powders are mixed with a few drops of Kumkumadi taila (an herbal facial oil) and a little bit of water.
The paste is retained on the skin till the water content dries up or for about 10-20 minutes. It is then washed off with cold water.
In case of elephantiasis, mustard seed powder is made into a paste with Indian night shade (Solanum indicum) and applied externally. It helps to bring down the local inflammation.
In case of cervical lymph gland swelling and acute tubercular cervical lymphadenitis, a paste of mustard is made with neem powder and oil and applied externally.
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Mustard seed for oral and dental care:
- For treating tooth disorders such as dental caries and pain, mustard powder is mixed with rock salt, made into a paste and applied over the affected part.
- It is retained for 3 – 5 minutes.
Later mouth is rinsed with lukewarm water.
Mustard is extensively used in the treatment of oral disorders.
It is an important ingredient of Khadiradi gulika, a traditional Ayurvedic medicine for oral care.
In case of thick tongue coating, associated with bad breath, low digestion strength and anorexia, mustard seed powder is made into a paste with equal parts of black pepper, long pepper and ginger.
This paste is used to rub over the thick tongue coating. It helps to relieve the coating and improves hunger and tasting capacity of the tongue.
Because of hotness and penetrating nature of mustard seeds, it can increase hotness in the body and cause Pitta Dosha aggravation. For this reason, mustard seed is not recommended in higher doses in case of high Pitta disorders such as bleeding disorders (nasal bleeding), hemorrhoids, acute gastritis, excess body heat etc.
Major chemical constituents:
Seed – Rutin, arabinogalactan.