Mustard is a staple in the spice rack of every Indian kitchen. From seeds to oil to leaves, it has been used in regular cooking in various forms since forever. And if you savor the spicy smell and unique flavor of mustard, it is time to take notice of its potential skin benefits too. Apart from making your food yummy and lip-smacking, it can also help you with a glowing and beautiful skin tone by exfoliating it thoroughly. Sounds strange? But it is true! Read below to know everything about simple mustard facial scrubs and their benefits.
What is Mustard?
Mustard (Brassica juncea), also popularly known as ‘rai’ or ‘sarso’, is a much-loved condiment obtained from the tiny seeds of the mustard plant. Native to the Mediterranean region, this plant belongs to the Brassicaceae family and comes in several dozens of nutrient-rich varieties. Nowadays, they are extensively cultivated all over the world including India, Canada, Great Britain, Hungary, etc. The seeds of the plant are widely used in global cuisines as whole seeds, powder (ground seeds), or paste. In addition, mustard seeds are known to be one of the highly appreciated culinary oil-seeds available in the market. The spicy oil is also used in skincare, haircare, body massage, and traditional rituals. The healthful leaves of the plant are also used to bring versatility in salads, soups, and stews. Mustard has even been used as a medicinal remedy since the time of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations for its wide range of health benefits.
The distinct aroma and pungent flavor of mustard are attributed to a compound called sinalbin, which releases chemicals (isothiocyanate) during enzymatic reaction (myrosinase enzyme).
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Types of Mustard
All mustard grown worldwide is usually divided into the following three categories:
- White / Yellow Mustard (Sinapis alba or Brassica alba): This is the most extensively grown type of mustard, which has a slightly bigger size than others, a straw-yellow color, and a mildly pungent flavor. It is the primary ingredient in North America’s traditional food ‘hotdog mustard’.
- Black Mustard (Brassica nigra): Mostly found in South Asia, this type of mustard is black in color and has a sharper and more pungent flavor than the previous one.
- Brown Mustard (Brassica juncea): This mustard with a dark brown seed coat is produced in the sub-Himalayan plains of Northern India. It has a strong flavor profile, which is perfect for Dijon-style mustard. In English-style mustard, it is also combined with yellow mustard.
Real mustard oil contains a fatty acid called erucic acid, which acts as a contaminant and causes heart problems due to poor metabolism. Hence, it is not allowed by the FDA for food purposes. Rather, the FDA considers mustard essential oil as a safer choice for cooking, which is prepared from mustard seeds through the process of steam distillation. (1)
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Nutritional Profile of Mustard
The health-befitting spice mustard is made of high-quality nutrients like proteins, dietary fibers, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. A serving of whole mustard seeds (11 gm.) comprises carbohydrate (2 gm.), protein (3 gm,), fat ( 3 gm.), vitamins (B-complex, A, C, E, K, etc.), and minerals (calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, selenium, and so on) (2). Though they are very low in cholesterol, the calorie content of the spice is very high. However, they are an excellent source of essential oils and plant sterols (brassicasterol, campesterol, sitosterol, avenasterol, and stigmasterol, etc.). Mustard is also quite rich in glucosinolates, flavonoid antioxidants, carotenoids, isorhamnetin, kaempferol, etc., which protect your body against damage and diseases. In short, from replenishing the body from inside to enhancing its appearance from outside, the humble seeds of mustard take part in everything with their strong nutritional profile.
Skin Benefits of Mustard
Having many nutritious values, mustard seeds can be used for multiple beauty benefits with ease and effectiveness. Following are the ways in which the spice benefits your skin:
1. Exfoliates the Skin
Mustard is used widely as a natural face scrub for its coarse and round structure. The seeds are mixed with simple kitchen ingredients or beneficial essential oils to make a scrub paste that sloughs off dead cells and dirt properly.
2. Keeps Skin Hydrated
The seeds of mustard also enhance the hydration system of the skin. If blended rightly with aloe vera and lemon juice, it makes for an unbeatable remedy that removes all impurities from the face and nourishes it deeply (3).
13. Slows Down Aging
Mustard seeds are a wonderful source of compounds like carotene and lutein. It is also a powerhouse of vitamins (A, C, and K). Together these nutrients turn the spice into a potent antioxidant that prevents skin damage, tightens up the skin, and makes it smoother (4).
14. Combats Skin Infections
Mustard is rich in sulfur, which has very strong anti-fungal properties. This helps in fighting against rashes and skin infections effectively (5). The spice is also quite effective in treating certain skin conditions like contact dermatitis, psoriasis, etc.
Read Also – Clean Your Face with Mustard Facial Scrubs
3 Mustard Facial Scrubs to Try at Home
Now that you are aware of various benefits of mustard seeds for the skin to bank on, it is time to try some simple facial mustard scrubs at home. Exfoliation is the key to blemish-free, flawless skin, and practicing it 2-3 times a week is absolutely necessary. The following recipes will not only eliminate the impurities from the skin but also reveal the fresh layer of cells underneath:
1. Mustard Seeds, Rosewater, and Essential Oils
For effective exfoliation of the skin, mix mustard seeds with rosewater and a few essential oils of your choice. Apply the smooth mixture on your face, neck, and hands. Massage gently in the anticlockwise direction to get rid of all the impurities. Keep it on for 10-15 minutes and then, wash off with plain water. Pat dry and enjoy the well-moisturized, flawless skin.
2. Mustard Seeds and Aloe Vera
Another mustard facial scrub that is equally effective in the skin cleanup process is the mustard and aloe vera mixture. Mix some mustard seeds with fresh aloe vera gel and massage your face with it for 10-15 minutes. The seeds will remove the dead cells while the aloe vera gel will moisturize your skin intensely in a natural manner.
3. Mustard Seeds, Yogurt, Honey, Cornflour, and Lemon Juice
Blend together mustard seeds, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, and cornflour with a little amount of water and make a smooth paste of medium consistency. Apply it evenly to your facial skin and allow it to dry for 20-25 minutes. Then, rinse away with clean water and get gorgeously glowing skin at once.
Read Also – Are Scrubs Harmful to Your Skin?
Hair Benefits of Mustard
If you think that mustard can only take care of your skin cells, let us tell you that it is a versatile item that can healthify and beautify your hair too. Check out below the hair benefits offered by the spice:
- Mustard comes loaded with fatty acids, which condition the hair strands profoundly and impart natural shine and bounce to them.
- It has very high amounts of essential vitamins and minerals, which make hair fibers stronger and reduce hair fall to a great extent.
- Plenty of vitamin A in mustard oil helps in stimulating hair follicles as well as promoting faster hair growth (6).
Health Benefits of Mustard
Nutritious mustard has numerous health benefits and knowing them will help you steer clear of a number of diseases. We have mentioned the health benefits of mustard here:
- Soluble dietary fibers in mustard enhance digestion followed by the overall metabolism of the body, which leads to better bowel movements. (7)
- If there is any kind of congestion in the respiratory system, mustard may help in relieving it effectively. It also prevents the attacks of asthma due to the presence of minerals like magnesium, copper, iron, and selenium in it. (8)
- The same minerals in mustard also help in keeping blood pressure levels under control. They are even effective in providing relief during the phase of menopause. (9)
- Mustard has compounds like glucosinolates and myrosinase, which may protect against different types of cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells (10), (11), (12), (13).
- As mustard works as a natural anti-inflammatory agent, using it can make you relaxed by soothing your muscle aches and pain.
Risks and Side Effects of Mustard
No matter how much beneficial mustard is for your face or the rest of the body, it should be used with precautions. To know if your skin is sensitive to mustard, start with a patch test and go ahead with its inclusion in your regular beauty routine accordingly. While the topical application of the spice is unlikely to cause any significant problem, overconsumption of it as a medicinal remedy should be a well-informed decision. Otherwise, you may experience side effects, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and gut inflammation. Moreover, raw and uncooked mustard seeds and leaves consist of tons of goitrogens, which disrupt the production of thyroid hormones and interfere with the normal metabolism of the body. Hence, people with thyroid impairment should limit their intake of mustard (14).
Mustard (Brassica juncea) is a condiment with distinct aroma and pungent flavor, which is obtained from the tiny seeds of the mustard plant. Based on the color and characteristics of the seeds, mustard can be of three types – white / yellow mustard, black mustard, and brown mustard. Both the seeds and the leaves of the plant are edible. Mustard is widely used in global cuisines as whole seeds, powder, paste, or oil. Being rich in proteins, dietary fibers, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential oils and plant sterols, mustard has excellent beauty benefits. It exfoliates the skin, keeps it hydrated, slows down aging, and combats skin infections. You can prepare mustard facial scrubs at home by combining the spice with other ingredients like rosewater, essential oils, aloe vera, lemon juice, honey, yogurt, cornflour, etc. and get a blemish-free, flawless skin over time. Mustard also helps in strengthening hair, reducing hair fall, promoting its growth, and making it shiny. It has also long been used as a medicinal remedy for digestion, asthma, high blood pressure, menopausal issues, muscle aches and pain, and even certain types of cancer. However, it is important to do a patch test before applying it on the skin or consuming it too frequently to avoid adverse effects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Mustard Kill Bacteria?
Mustard essential oil is known to be a powerful antibacterial agent, which fights off harmful bacteria like E. coli, staph, salmonella, listeria, etc.
Is Mustard Good for Losing Weight?
Consumption of mustard cannot help you lose weight directly. However, being a thermogenic ingredient, it may boost your metabolism (up to 5%) and increase fat burning (up to 16%), thereby allowing you to reach your weight loss goal faster.
What is Mustard Bath Good for?
Mustard bath detoxifies the body by stimulating the sweat glands and opening up the skin pores. It is considered an amazing cure for fatigued and achy muscles. It is also quite helpful in providing relief from colds, congestion, and stress.
Is Mustard Good for the Liver?
Just like other green leafy vegetables, mustard greens are also known to resolve fatty liver issues and enhance the functionality of the liver with their antioxidant and vitamin contents.
Can I Chew Mustard Seeds Raw?
Chewing raw mustard seeds is not a good choice. However, you can have raw mustard leaves with salads, soups, and stews as long as you do not have thyroid problems.
- “Mustard Oil: Health Benefits and Uses“, Healthline.com
- “Spices, Mustard Seed, Ground“, FDC.nal.usda.gov
- “Ayurvedic Massage: Traditional Indian Techniques for Balancing Body and Mind“, books.google.co.in
- “Natural Antioxidants: Chemistry, Health Effects, and Applications“, books.google.co.in
- “Postharvest Technology of Fruits and Vegetables: General Concepts and Principles“, books.google.co.in
- “Spice At Home“, books.google.co.in
- “The Inflammation Cure Cookbook“, books.google.co.in
- “Natural Therapy Miracle: Alternative Solution to the Prescription Drug Problems“, books.google.co.in
- “The Miracle of Herbs and Spices“, books.google.co.in
- “Chemopreventive Effects of Mustard (Brassica Compestris) on Chemically Induced Tumorigenesis in Murine Forestomach and Uterine Cervix“, pubmed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Mustard Seeds (Sinapis Alba Linn) Attenuate Azoxymethane-Induced Colon Carcinogenesis“, pubmed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Inhibition of Bladder Cancer Cell Proliferation by Allyl Isothiocyanate (Mustard Essential Oil)“, pubmed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Allyl Isothiocyanate-Rich Mustard Seed Powder Inhibits Bladder Cancer Growth and Muscle Invasion“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Various Possible Toxicants Involved in Thyroid Dysfunction: A Review“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov