Mustard seeds are one the ingredient in the masala/spice box of Indian kitchen. In india it is one of ingredient which is regularly used to make many dishes. Mustard has been used as both food and medicine in Ayurveda. Mustard leaf is considered as a vegetable, while the seeds are used as a condiment and constitute the source of mustard oil. It shows antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, carminative, antifungal property.

Mustard oil is used in Indian cooking for preparing pickles to dry vegetables to curries to fried foods. It is particularly common in the Bengali cooking as well as used for cooking in parts of Gujarat, Assam, Orissa, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, and other parts of India. In Indian kitchens, mustard oil is like the olive oil of India, the “king of all oils.”

It has different names in different languages such as Marathi name(Kalamohare, Shirasi, mohari), Hindi name(Sarson / Rai), English name(Wild turnip), Kannada name(Sasive), Telugu name(Nallavalu, Avalu), Tamil name(Karuppukkadugadi), Bengali name(Sarisha), Punjabi name(Sareya, Rai), Banarasi name(rai, Kalee sarson).

Vitamins and minerals content

Vitamins : A, C, E, K, B complex, folates

Minerals : calcium, copper, manganese, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, sodium, potassium

• Excellent source of essential B complex vitamins

• It contains about 60%-69% monounsaturated fatty acids: 5- 33% erucic acid and 12% oleic acid. It has approximately 21% polyunsaturated fats: 6% alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, and 15% linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. It has 12% saturated fats.

Types of mustard

1) Yellow/white mustard

2) Red mustard

3) Black mustard

• Red mustard is similar to white but white mustard is better

Oil intake from mustard seed

Mustard oil is extracted via cold compression of mustard seeds. Another method is steam distillation of mustard seeds immersed in water. Traditionally, cold pressed oil (Kachi ghani) was used. Steam distillation yields more oil but is not the best for health.

Properties and Benefits of mustard


• Qualities – Laghu (light), oily, unctuousness

• Taste – Katu (pungent), bitter

• Taste conversion after digestion – Katu(pungent)

• Potency – Ushna(hot potency)

• Effects on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha. Increases Pitta Dosha.


• Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart

• Rakta Pitta Vardahana – increases Pitta and worsens blood vitiation.

• Agnivardhana – improves digestion strength

• Nidrakari – induces sleep

• Raktapitta krut – increases Pitta and vitiates Rakta (blood), not indicated in bleeding disorders.

useful in:

• Kushta – skin diseases

• Kandu – itching, pruritus

• Kantharoga– Throat and voice related disorders

• Graharoga – Psychiatric disorders

• Krumi – worm infestation

• Ama – A product of indigestion and altered metabolism

• Shruti –hearing disorders

• Sheersha Anilarti – headache due to Vata increase

• Pleeha – Disease of the spleen, Splenomegaly

• Shoola – abdominal pain

Mustard leaves categorised as leafy vegetables

It is sakṣāra (slightly alakaline), madhura (sweet), nātyuṣṇa (not so hot in potency) or uṣṇa (hot in potency), tīkṣṇa (penetrating), guru (heavy), rūk ṣa (drying) or snigdha (unctuous), vidāhi (triggers inflammation), grāhi (astringent), baddhaviṇmūtra (reduces output of urine and feces) and reduces kapha and vata.

Application, uses and health benefits
  1. Mustard oil has high smoking point, hence it can be used for deep frying or high heat stir frying.
  2. It is a powerful antioxidant. It is best when consumed in its raw form.
  3. Mustard oil helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol.

- Improvement in cholesterol decreases triglycerides or blood fat levels, thereby, preventing hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and obesity in addition to enhancing heart health.

4) Mustard oil lowers the risk of Cardiovascular Disease. It is good for massaging and relieves joint pain. It promotes healthy skin, teeth, and hair.

- A recent comparative study done on varieties of edible oils revealed that mustard oil reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 70 percent, so mustard oil cuts down the risk of heart diseases if used in moderation.

5) In India, people massage their gums with salt in mustard oil, and this improves oral hygiene.

6) In Ayurvedic medicine, mustard oil is used as a poultice for massage and a detoxifier. It has anti-aging properties. When massaged into the body, mustard oil can act as a skin antioxidant. It can remove tan and dark spots as well as lightens the skin. Mustard oil is rich in vitamin E, and it shields the skin from free radical damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays as well as pollutants in the environment. It is like a natural sunscreen. Moreover, the vitamin E in mustard oil increases immunity and circulation.

7) As a Mustard oil rich in Omega-3 fatty acids with lot of nutrients(such as beta-carotene, iron, fatty acids, calcium, and magnesium) which are good for hair health and growth. Before using any type of oil hair please consult ayurveda practitioner, because oil which is used for hair is also depends on persons body type. For an example Mustard oil is not suitable for Pitta body type person because of its hot potency, it may damages the hair and change the color of hair also.

8) Mustard oil lowers inflammation-associated pain and has a calming effect on the body. Massaging joints and whole body with heated mustard oil relieve arthritis and pain. It revitalizes and relaxes the body by increasing blood circulation. OR You should use this Mustard oil as base for essential oils for massage.

9) When mustard oil is applied topically, it also has anti-fungal properties, as it contains allyl isothiocyanate, which inhibits fungal growth.

10) Mustard oil has shown efficacy in relieving cold and cough when applied onto the chest or inhaled(mustard oil steam treatment, which involves adding a few drops of pure mustard oil to boiling water and inhaling the steam.). Its strong aroma helps in removing excess phlegm from the respiratory tract. OR you add/pour 2-4 drops Mustard oil in nostrils which helps to remove blockage due to cold.

11) Mustard oil stimulates digestion. This oil is a known digestive stimulant and helps the intestine in producing digestive juices like bile, which increase the peristaltic movement of food.

12) Powder of rosted black Mustard Seed with sesame oil is applied on ulcers and non healing wounds.

13) Make a fine paste of red/black Mustard Seed(unroasted) powder with water and applied over forehead, which helps to reduce headache.

14) Mustard oil is mixed with small quantity of fine paste of turmeric and cooked. This oil is applied all over the body. This pacifies itchy rashes. Prefer warm water bath after applying.

15) Make a fine paste of equal quantity of mustard seed, garlic and ginger and apply this over joint pain and muscular swelling.

16) In cases of abscess / wounds with initial stage of pus formation, mustard paste is applied to quicken pus formation, before incision and draining.

17) Tender green plants as well as green pods can be eaten as vegetable or salads.

Note : 1) Avoid adulterated mustard oil with argemone oil, which is highly toxic.

2) Animal studies conclude that excessive use of mustard oil may be harmful to health due to high amounts of erucic acid.

Refrence :

for more information Mustard seeds (sarson)
  1. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge Vol. 8(3), July 2009 :
  2. book: Herbs and SpicesEdition: firstChapter: 12. MustardPublisher: Woodhead Publishing Limited, Abington Hall, Abington Cambridge CB1 6AH, EnglandEditors: K V Peter. :
  5. Bhojana Kutuhalam
  6. Bhavaprakasha Nighantu
  7. charak samhita
  8. Sushruta samhita