Mustard seeds are commonly used in Indian, Pakistani, Mediterranean and German cooking. Whole seeds, ground or powdered, prepared pastes, sauces and oil are all used in food preparations. Whole seeds are used for tadka, powdered seeds are widely used in various pickles, dips and garnishing and mustard oil is used for cooking. They impart a rich taste and aroma to the food. They are widely used for their medicinal properties having a wide range of benefits for health and beauty.
Health benefits of mustard seeds
- Packed with phytonutrients, mustard seeds are a great way to prevent and slow the progress of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that these seeds can restrict the growth of already-present cancer cells and prevent the formation of new ones.
- These seeds are high in selenium and magnesium. This gives it a unique anti-inflammatory property. Regular consumption is known to control and keep the symptoms of asthma, cold and chest congestion at bay.
- It has seeds full of vitamins like folates, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin etc. These are great in speeding up one’s metabolism leading to weight loss.
- Mustard being a great source of carotenes, zeaxanthins and lutein, vitamin A, C, and K all put together to make it rich in antioxidants which in turn slows the ageing process.
- The selenium and magnesium content of mustard lend it anti-inflammatory and heat producing properties. The paste heats up the area and helps loosen muscles, leading to relief from pain.
- They have high levels of niacin or vitamin B3, which helps in lowering cholesterol levels and protecting the arteries from atherosclerosis i.e. plaque build-up. It also regulates blood flow and protects the body from hypertension.
- Because mustard seeds are choc-a-bloc with minerals like iron, manganese, copper etc., it helps improve the body’s ability to fight diseases.
Hair Benefits of Mustard Seeds
1. Packed with vitamins and minerals and a high amount of beta-carotene converting to Vitamin A, this is excellent for hair growth. Its iron, fatty acids, calcium and magnesium, act as stimulants leading to faster hair growth.
2. They contain protein, calcium, vitamin A and E, omega-3 and omega- 6 fatty acids. All of these together strengthen your hair from within. Strengthened hair means lesser hair fall too.
Tip: Using mustard oil once a fortnight for a warm oil massage is a great way to relieve stress, reduce dandruff and promote hair growth. After you apply the oil, wrap your hair in a warm towel. This increases absorption of the oil into the scalp. Leave it for about half an hour and then wash off. Use a good shampoo as the oil has a strong odour and is thick in consistency.
Skin Benefits of Mustard Seeds
1. Packed with sulphur, mustard seeds have antifungal and antibacterial properties that are useful in restricting skin infections.
2. Adding mustard seeds to lavender or rose essential oil, make a scrub for exfoliating dead skin.
3. Mustard seeds, used with Aloe vera gel, are great to hydrate your skin. It removes all impurities from your face and nourishes it from within.
4. They are a great source of carotene and lutein and together with vitamin A, C and K they make for an excellent antioxidant which slows skin ageing.
In general seeds and its oil are considered safe when used in small quantity. A large quantity may cause gastric irritation, bleeding from the stomach or intestinal mucosa. It may cause skin burn when applied to the skin for longer time. So use it in moderation. Consult your physician before self-medicating.
Never forget to buy organic mustard seeds which are free of chemicals and artificial fertilizers.