Article by Kaniz F. Shah


Botanical Name: brassica juncea
English Name:  mustard
Hindi Name:  sarson
Popular Name(s): MUSTARD
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: brassicales
Family: brassicaceae
Genus: brassica
Species: b. juncea
Parts Used: seed, leaves
Habitat: Himalayas, North Africa, Middle East, Argentina, Chile
Planting: Sun or part shade
Height: 1-3m (3-10ft)
Taste:  pungent
Effect / Energy:  warming
Oil Extraction method: steam distilled from seed
Oil blends with:  
ph: 3.55-6.0





Types of the Mustard:

White mustard (Sinapis hirta) grows wild in North Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean and has spread farther by long cultivation; oriental mustard (Brassica juncea), originally from the foothills of the Himalaya, is grown commercially in India, Canada, the UK, Denmark and the US; black mustard (Brassica nigra) is grown in Argentina, Chile, the US and some European countries. Brown mustard, cultivation is similar to white and black, but the plant is smaller and the seeds do not preserve as well.
Canada and Nepal are the world's major producers of mustard seeds.

Preserving and Main Uses:

Mustard seeds are highly esteemed as a condiment and for their medicinal qualities. They have been used worldwide to aid in digestion, warm the stomach and promote the appetite and for colds, coughs, chilblains, arthritis, lumbago and general aches and pains.
Fresh leaves and flowers are great in salads, sauces, pickles and other dishes.

Mustard Oil:

The essential oil is extracted through steam distillation from the black mustard seeds. It is a colorless or pale yellow liquid with a sharp, penetrating, acrid odor. It is an aperitif, antimicrobial, antiseptic, diuretic, emetic, febrifuge and rubefacient. It is a rich source of selenium, zinc, beta-carotene and vitamins A, D, E and K. The food grade oil is often used in cooking for its health benefits and for a distinct flavor.

Mustard oil for the hair:

Mustard oil is a unique savior of hair fall, split ends and baldness. Its use for hair dates back to ancient times. Today it is still used extensively in India and Pakistan to make the hair healthy, thick, long and strong.The oil is massaged into the scalp an left on overnight. The next day it is washed thoroughly with shampoo. This treatment is done every 1-2 weeks for best results.

Mustard for the skin:

Mustard has many ancient healing benefits including increased circulation, opening of pores and stimulating sweat to remove toxins from the body. It also has significant antioxidant and detoxifying properties. This makes mustard not only good for the skin and hair but also for body massages.
Mustard baths have long been popular with the ancient Greeks, Romans and in Ayurvedic and Unani practices. The detoxifying and calming properties of mustard helped cleanse out toxins from the body and sooth tired and aching muscles. The hot baths and the aroma of the mustard helped during colds and fevers as well.
NOTE: Very sensitive skin can be irritated by mustard. Use very little amounts or refrain from using if it irritates your skin.


This article is for informational purpose only. Mustard and mustard oil are not a treatment for any disease or condition. They are generally safe when used on the skin or hair, but to ensure safety, it is best to do an allergy test. Consult your doctor before using for medical purposes.

Sources of Information

  1. Graedon, Terry. Cancer. The Peoples Pharmacy Quick and Handy Home Remedies. By Joe Graedon. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2011. 178.
  2. Main source is “Herbal Encyclopedia” of Indian and Pakistani Herbs by Hakeem
    Doctor Hari Chand Multani. Gold medalist (Urdu Book)
  3. “Qeetab-ul-mufradat” By Alama Hakeem Qabeer-ul-Din and Alama Hakeem Anwar Khan Lodhi (urdu Book)
  4. “Herbs & Spices” By charlotte de la Bedoyere
  5. “Lawless, Julia. "Mustard." Complete Essential Oils. S.l.: Element, 1995. Page?. Print.
  6. "Brassica Juncea." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 14 Nov. 2014. (for classification)

Article Last Updated: 2/20/15