Mustard Oil is obtained from Mustard seeds. The oil is available as pure, essential or mixed Mustard Oil. Pure Mustard Oil is obtained by pressing dried Mustard seeds and obtaining the oil directly. Essential oil is obtained by first grinding the seeds before mixing with water from which the oil is extracted through distillation.
Mixed Mustard Oil is obtained by mixing pure Mustard Oil with any other vegetable oil in proportionate amounts. Pure Mustard Oil contains varied elements including monounsaturated fatty acids (erucic and oleic acid), polyunsaturates (omega-3 alpha-lionoleic acid and omega-6 linoleic acid) and saturated fats. It also contains Allyl isothiocyanate, which gives it its pungent taste. Although internal use of Mustard Oil is controversial in other regions of the world, the oil has been internally used in some regions (in particular Indian sub-continent) since time immemorial without any adverse side effects reported.
Health Benefits of Mustard Oil
Some of its health benefits include:
- As a stimulant – Mustard Oil is a very powerful stimulant. Ingested in a small amount, it is effective in stimulating digestion and excretion. The oil has the effect of stimulation the secretion of gastric juice, which aids in fast digestion. The oil is also very effective in stimulating blood circulation. This is achieved by messaging the skin with a little amount of the oil. Because pure Mustard Oil is very irritative, use of essential Mustard Oil is highly recommended. In some cases however, pure oil can be used for massage. This is especially when there is need to bring back sensation to parts of the body where there is numbness.
- As appetizer – The fact that Mustard Oil is both irritative and a stimulant makes it very effective as an appetizer. Taken in a small amount, the oil irritates the inner lining of the stomach, intestines, spleen and liver, an action that leads to increased production of gastric juice. Because the rate of digestion is bound to increase, one is likely to feel hungry fast. The oil has traditionally been given to patients who cannot eat properly.
- Anti bacterial/fungal – Mustard Oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. The oil is very effective in fighting both bacterial and fungal infections along the colon, digestive system and urinary tract when ingested. It is also very effective in treating skin infections caused by both bacteria and fungi.
- As vitalizer – Mustard Oil is a very effective hair vitalizer. Its stimulating effect has a positive impact on the scalp; increasing blood circulation, which encourages healthy hair growth. The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids it contains also act to nourish hair roots, resulting in healthy growth of hair.
- As tonic – Mustard Oil is a very good health tonic. It has the effect of toning up all systems within the body, in effect giving strength and vitality. It also boosts the body’s immune system. The oil has been established to be very effective in managing arthritis and associated symptoms.
- Mustard Oil has been used for decades as home remedy for common colds, coughs, mild headaches and general body pain. It is also very effective in combating infections on gums. This is due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Although Mustard Oil has been used in some parts of the world without any controversy, its use in children, pregnant women or those lactating should be undertaken with care so as to avoid any incidents of adverse side effects.