(NaturalNews) A familiar staple in Indian food, mustard seed is much more than a peppery-tasting spice. It also addresses a number of health ailments, including: cancer, asthma, weight gain and hair issues -- as well as variety of other concerns. Ingesting the seed is one method for reaping the benefits, taking a detoxifying bath with mustard powder is another. For inflammatory conditions, applying mustard oil topically helps to relieve arthritis and skin complaints. However you choose to employ this unassuming seed, be assured that a powerful remedy is right at your fingertips.
Versatile and potent
Who would guess that within the minute mustard seed lies a formidable defense against cancer, hypertension, atherosclerosis and asthma? The secret to mustard's healing capacity is found within its nutrient profile. As part of the cruciferous family (think: broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts), mustard seed contains a spectrum of bioactive elements which discourage disease. Rich in iron, calcium, selenium, copper and magnesium -- along with vitamins A, B, C and K -- mustard seed packs serious nutrition into a small package. Selenium and magnesium help to protect against cancer, inflammation and the symptoms of asthma, while the range of vitamins and phytonutrients in mustard counter the effects of aging, hair weakness and shedding. On top of that, the seed also supports weight loss due to its metabolism boosting properties.
Moreover, a study in the journal Carcinogenesis discovered that a compound in mustard seed, Allyl Isothiocyanate (AITC), discourages bladder cancer in lab tests. The researchers fed mustard seed powder to test animals and found a 34.5 percent reduction in bladder cancer growth, with a 100 percent blockage of muscle invasion. The team concluded that mustard seed powder is an "attractive delivery vehicle for AITC and it strongly inhibits bladder cancer development and progression."
How to use
Since mustard seed powder is known in Ayurvedic medicine to increase circulation, oxygenation and removal of toxins, it's an excellent addition to a therapeutic bath. Annie of Mighty Nest offers an effective, do-it-yourself recipe here. Just make sure to filter your bathwater or dissolve a tablespoon of ascorbic acid powder (vitamin C) to counteract the chlorine in city water. To use mustard oil for encouraging hair growth and minimizing loss, massage a tablespoon into the scalp. Wrap hair in a plastic bag and let sit for 30 minutes. Afterwards, shampoo thoroughly and style as usual. Use this treatment once a week.
If you're struggling with constipation, consuming one teaspoonful of mustard seed, two times per day, will help relieve the problem. Don't forget to use whole and ground mustard to spice-up your culinary creations as well. Whether in an ethnic dish, a salad vinaigrette or fish recipe, including mustard in your diet is a simple task.
Nevertheless, before racing off and consuming vast quantities of mustard seed, it's important to remember more is not necessarily better. Even though the seed holds great promise in alleviating a number of maladies, mustard can be toxic in large amounts. For curative use internally, it's always wise to consult with a qualified practitioner for proper dosage.
About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.