Botanical: Sinapis alba (white)
Family: Cruciferae (mustard) - Brassicaceae (cabbage)
Other common names: White Mustard, Yellow Mustard, Pepper Grass, Hedge Mustard
More than Grandma's old-fashioned Mustard plaster, Mustard Seed helps to stimulate blood flow, improve circulation and warm the skin, easing painful muscles and sore joints. As a stimulant, it also helps to improve digestion and metabolize fat.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Highly valued for its oil content, the Mustard plant was well known to the ancients and was even mentioned five times in the New Testament, once as "the greatest among herbs." Mustard is a hardy annual plant that is widely cultivated and also found growing wild in many parts of the world, including the fields and waste places of North America (except the far northern parts). It may grow to a height of eight feet. There are many Mustards - Brassica nigra (black), Sinapis alba (white), Brassica juncea (brown) - and they have provided pungent flavorings, green vegetables and medicinal compounds dating back to at least 400 B.C., in the West and were first mentioned in herbal medicine in China in A.D. 659. The Greek physician, Dioscorides, used Mustard as an emetic, and Pliny the Elder (23-79) noted in his Historia Naturalis that Mustard grew everywhere in Italy and was not only a great boon to cuisine, but he also listed forty medical remedies with Mustard as the chief ingredient. Mustard's name is derived from the Latin, mustum, the new wine that Romans mixed with the seed, and ardens, meaning "fiery." Mustard was believed to have strong aphrodisiac powers and was included in love potions to stimulate passion. In The English Physitian Enlarged (1653), the esteemed herbalist, Culpeper, highly recommended Mustard Seed for weak stomachs, toothache, joint pains, skin problems and a "crick in the neck." In England, in 1699, John Evelyn claimed that Mustard Seed strengthened the memory, revived the spirits and expelled heaviness. Mustard plasters and poultices have been continually used since ancient times to cure chest congestion, bronchitis and pneumonia, and also to relieve arthritic joint pain, rheumatism and muscle soreness. At one time surgeons disinfected their hands with Mustard paste, and it has even been administered in footbaths to clear congestion in the head. The pungency of Mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground seed; an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce the sulfur compound, allyl isothiocyanate. Aside from the volatile oil, Mustard also contains mucilage, sinapine and protein. As a spice commodity, Mustard is second only to pepper in world trade.
Mustard Seed has long been relied upon to improve the digestive system and to promote a healthy appetite. As an irritant, Mustard stimulates the gastric mucous membrane and increases the flow of gastric juices (also having some effect on pancreatic secretions), all of which help to advance good digestion. Herbalists have also used Mustard Seed to relieve obstinate hiccups.
The mucilage content in Mustard Seed may help to calm an upset stomach due to acid indigestion and also produces a laxative action.
Mustard Seed is a stimulant that warms and invigorates the circulatory system. It helps to dilate blood vessels, encourages blood flow and is also said to aid in the metabolism of fat in the body.
Mustard See is also considered a diaphoretic, an agent that helps to increase perspiration, which can lower fever and cleanse toxins from the body through the skin. This factor is also useful for colds and flu.
One of the oldest uses of Mustard Seed has been as an emetic, a medicine that provokes vomiting. This is especially valuable when used in narcotic poisoning when it is desirable to empty the stomach without the accompanying depletion and depression of the system.
Used externally, Mustard Seeds are famous for their rubefacient properties by dilating the blood vessels and increasing the blood flow toward the surface of the skin, warming and reddening the affected area and encouraging the removal of toxins. Poultices and Mustard plasters are a tried-and-true remedy to relieve the pain of arthritic joints, rheumatism, sciatica, neuralgia, neck pain, backache, "charley horse" and muscle pain.
Mustard Seed's topical use also extends to the relief of respiratory infections when used in baths, poultices and mustard plasters. Mustard Seed helps treat bronchitis, chest congestion, pneumonia, croup and pleurisy.
Large doses of Mustard Seed Herbal Supplement (many times the recommended amount) should not be taken, especially by those with cardiovascular problems. Children under the age of six and the elderly should not use this product.