Mustard plant is a spice that has been around for more than 3,000 years. Different varieties of the plant include white mustard, a much spicier brown mustard and a strong spicy black mustard.
White mustard has an excellent nutritional value, abounding in proteins and minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Mustard contains mucilages, substances acting as laxatives, and two to three daily doses of one spoonful of mustard seeds aid evacuation. Mustard is also known for its anti-inflammatory qualities. General bath helps relieve the pains associated with rheumatism and neuralgias, while local bath is effective against headaches and colds. Respiratory problems can be treated with black or white mustard seeds. The poultice is applied onto the chest and removed before the burning sensation becomes strong. Warm covering is then put onto the treated area.
Combined with warm water, it promotes blood circulation. In cases of food poisoning, a mixture of spoon of black mustard flour, dissolved in a glass of water and taken on an empty stomach, induces vomiting and thus gets rid of toxins. Poor appetite is improved by adding black mustard seeds to a glass of milk, and drinking this preparation 15 minutes before eating.
Local and general baths, which should not take longer than 20-30 minutes, are made by pouring 9-13 cups of water at 25-30 degrees Celsius, over 25-30 grams of mustard flour for a local bath, and 250 grams of mustard flour for a general bath, which is then stirred until dissolved. Mustard seeds are ground or crushed to obtain mustard flour, and then put in a dark colored container and stored in a cool place. The flour keeps its healing properties if used within two to three weeks, though for internal use, mustard flour must be dissolved in wine or milk. When mixed with warm water, mustard flour is turned into a paste, which is then used as a poultice. 100 grams of mustard flour are used to make a poultice for adults, while half that amount 10 teaspoons is mixed with 20 teaspoons of flax flour when making a poultice for children. The poultice is applied by putting the paste between two pieces of cloth and then placing it onto the desired area.
Black or white mustard can cause irritation with people with dyspepsia, sensitive stomach or those with an irritated urinary tract.