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Mustard :
Black Mustard
- (Brassica Nigra)
White Mustard - (Sinapis alba)

Black Mustard - Brassica Nigra : An erect annual, growing up to 3 metres high, with spear shaped upper leaves, bright yellow flowers, and flat pods containing about 10 brown seeds.

White Mustard - Sinapis alba : Similar to the Black Mustard, but with larger seeds and is milder in flavour. The white mustard plant does not contain any essential oil.

The seeds of the mustard plant are highly esteemed - and both the white and black mustard plants are used in a similar way. The seeds can be used externally and internally - used externally they are warming and draw blood to the surface, as well as ease the pain of cold joints, rheumatism, chilblains, lumbago, and arthritis. Internally they make a useful digestive stimulant and warm the stomach. Mustard is useful for encouraging blood flow to the peripheral areas of the body - ideal for sufferers of poor circulation, or in cases of chilblains, frostbite and the likes.

Mustard has antiseptic properties - make an infusion of the seeds and use as a gargle for sore throats and tonsillitis.

Mustard footbaths are a well known folk remedy for colds, but are generally not taken too seriously nowadays. They are in fact very useful in cases of fevers and hot flushes because they encourage blood flow to the feet, which in turn reduces over all body temperature by dissipating heat. Use ordinary English Mustard powder and hot water - topping up with more hot water as it begins to cool. Wrap up warm afterwards.

Mustard poultices can help with rheumatic aches and pains - but can irritate sensitive skins, and prolonged use of the poultices can lead to blistering.

Black mustard essential oil is considered one of the most toxic of all the essential oils and has rubefacient properties, which produces blistering of the skin.

! Essential oil should NOT be used in therapy - externally or internally !


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