Most of us regard mustard seeds as mere supporting cast to the stars of a good recipe. It’s important but mostly plays a cameo. We use it for its specific fragrance and slightly rustic texture. But just as a spice: something that seasons the plate.
That’s why it may appear quite a surprise to see a grandma use this power-punch of seeds as more than just a condiment.
Chances are that some of us have heard elders talk about mustard in the same breath as Ayurveda, for its warm healing effects in the context of Vata and Kapha. We might have also seen these seeds being used in grandma’s remedies for an annoying sinus or a sore throat.
Whenever a wise elder ground and then immersed them in a foot soak or asked someone to gargle with mustard-infused tea for solving the congestion problem; they knew they were using this power food for its special properties.
Also, when a mother boiled Henna leaves with mustard oil and urged her daughter to apply this formula for strong, shiny hair; she was not bluffing.
Or when Greek and Roman civilizations, found their physicians using the mustard seed for its medicinal value; they were tapping it as more than a food accompaniment. Or when someone in a village drapes a linen sheet over the skin before applying a mustard plaster, they are smartly using its rubefacient power and analgesic effect for skin treatment. There’s more to skin and complexion with mustard, by the way. There’s more to a lot of things and secret benefits that this seed is endowed with.
Here are just a few of those powers. It can provide relief in a variety of conditions as a healing formula.
1. Skin and Lungs:
It’s useful in conditions like paralysis of limbs, rheumatism, ringworm issues, inflammation, Psoriasis-related lesions, contact Dermatitis, and other muscular aches.
Thanks to selenium that is inside these seeds, they can arrest the severity of asthma too.
2. Blood and Cholesterol:
They are also helpful in reducing artery blockages, the rate of cardiac arrhythmia, ventricular enlargement, and chest pain. And the presence of special Vitamins is useful in stopping clumping of platelets, thus proving effective as a cure for the risk of thrombosis. The seeds help a lot in cardiac health. The decoctions can cleanse the body of narcotic-or-alcohol related poisoning too.
3. Neural areas and Cancer:
Mustard also carries the unusual quality of being a poison repellent and has therapeutic value for nerves. A decoction made with mustard seeds helps in cleansing the body especially in the poisoning caused by narcotics and excess intake of alcohol.
The presence of phytonutrients like glucosinolates is valuable against cancers like bladder cancer, colon cancer, and cervical cancer. Their anti-inflammatory effects help immensely with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and overall body detoxification.
4. Other uses:
With vitamin A, they are great for healthy eyes. With fibre, a great assistance for digestion and with magnesium, they can lower blood pressure besides helping in cases like migraine attacks during menopause. Not only that, when used in treatments, they also act as stimulants for good enzymes like superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase for relief in many diseases.
In short, as a member of the Brassicaceae family, they are naturally gifted with phytonutrients, minerals, phosphorous, potassium, dietary folate, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, copper and manganese, isothiocyanates, vitamin B1 etc. That explains their several advantages for skin, eye, blood health and anti-cancer effects and the strong role of antioxidants.
So make a note of this small wonder whether you are aspiring for some glowing acne-less skin, great hair, lower cholesterol or fighting menopause, diabetes, stiff muscles, problematic joints, congested phlegm, tumors or pneumonia.
Use the yellow mustard flour for sausages as many do or sprinkle mustard greens on a soup or make a great curry out of it to be had with corn bread in winters. Or simply enough, enjoy them in that sauce or pickle.
As long as people with thyroid conditions or kidney stone related disorders take adequate caution, especially with uncooked mustard; this pack of magic is going to boost your health for sure. Also, beware of contamination. For that, you can always opt for organically grown mustard seeds or powder available easily these days with trusted organic producers like Terra Greens.
Now that you know the secrets hidden inside these little seeds, you are closer to knowing what your grandma always knew. So don’t forget to enjoy the pickle with a smart aftertaste the next time around.