Mustard seeds have unique healing properties. They protect the lungs in many ways and have a warming effect which makes them useful for fighting infections and removing toxins from the body.
Mustard seeds are from the mustard plant, which is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. There are three types of mustard seed: black, white and brown. Black mustard seeds have the most pungent taste, while white mustard seeds (which are actually yellow in color), are the most mild and are the ones used to make yellow mustard paste. Brown mustard has a pungent taste and is the type used to make Dijon mustard.
Mustard seeds are a very good source of two key nutrients, selenium and magnesium. These both help to reduce inflammation in the lungs and ease the symptoms of asthma.
In addition to these minerals, mustard seeds are also a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as a good source of calcium, manganese, protein, niacin and dietary fiber. They also contain small amounts of immunity-boosting minerals, including blood-enhancing iron and the antioxidant zinc, as well as B-vitamins.
The potent volatile oils present in these seeds make them useful for helping to fight off colds. These oils stimulate the circulation and encourage sweating, helping to expel harmful toxins from the body.
Less commonly used than the seeds, mustard leaves are rich in other nutrients, including Vitamin C and Beta-carotene, which improve lung function and are potent antioxidants.
Tips for Using Mustard
- Thimmulappa RK, Mai KH, Srisuma S et al. Identification of Nrf2-regulated genes induced by the chemopreventive agent sulforaphane by oligonucleotide microarray. Cancer Res 2002 Sep 15;62(18):5196-5203 2002.