It's likely you didn't realize your favorite sandwich condiment has a double life. Mustard is used not only for hotdogs, but for a host of other uses, from soothing sore throats to warding off cancer. According to Livestrong, the protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals in yellow mustard contribute to good health and well-being.
The origins of mustard take us back to the time of the ancient Romans, who were introduced to mustard by the Egyptians. They mixed unfermented wine with mustard seed to made the first version of mustard, calling it 'must,' hence the name mustard. In today's world, mustard has some pretty incredible uses.
This is a great tip to remember on your next road trip, as mustard works wonders on leg cramps. If you feel a cramp coming on, take one tablespoon of yellow mustard. The mustard will take your leg cramp away and prevent more from returning.
If you find yourself with a burn, run cool water over it, then cover the entire area with a layer of mustard. Not only will it prevent blisters from popping up, it will dull the pain of the burn. Mustard contains the compound allyl isothiocyanate, which acts as a powerful counter-irritant that will have your burn soothed and on it's way to recovery in no time.
Ease A Sore Throat
To ease a sore throat, mix together 1 tablespoon of mustard seed, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon clear honey, and 1 1/4 cups boiling water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, then gargle to soothe a sore throat. The same counter-irritant used to treat burns, allyl isothiocyanate, will go to work soothing your sore throat.
Researchers believe the allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) compound found in mustard fights cancer. According to a study published in the science journal Carcinogenesis, the ATIC found in mustard has been shown to drastically inhibit cancer growth, especially in bladder cancer. Researchers believe the compound could even cure the cancer altogether.
Relax Tired Muscles
Achy muscles have you hurting? Depending on the severity and location of the soreness, mustard can help ease the pain! For muscles that hurt all over the body, opt for a bath infused with mustard. Mix in 2 tablespoons of mustard with 1 tablespoon of epson salts. The mustard will amplify the therapeutic properties of the epsom salts, resulting in relaxed muscles.
To target and sooth a specific area, such as the lower back, create a paste to zero in on the affected muscles. Mix together one part mustard seed to two parts flour, and add water until it becomes a thick paste. Smooth it onto one side of a cheesecloth and fold. Place it on the area and secure it with a bandage for 20-30 minutes. Relax as the pain subsides.
Deep Condition Your Hair
Mustard oil works wonders as a hair conditioner. After conditioning your hair, work through a palm-sized amount of the oil through your tresses. Leave on for eight hours (or as long as you can). If you choose to leave the oil on overnight, be sure to sleep in a shower cap to keep the oil off your bedsheets. Your hair will be silky soft come morning.
Protect Your Garden
Has your garden been the restaurant of choice for the backyard critters? Rub some yellow mustard on a tin plate and hang it at the corner of your garden bed. The scent of the mustard reminds animals, namely deer, of sweaty farm workers. One mustard plate per garden bed is enough to keep the animals out and your garden growing!
Erase Unwanted Scents
Are you irritated by a lingering scent in your favorite bottle? Sprinkle in some mustard powder with hot water and shake. Rinse the mixture out of the bottle and notice how the scent is gone.
This trick also works for meal containers and pots and pans. Make a paste with mustard powder and water to scrub away the unwanted scents. Your dishes will be free of the unwanted smells!
Mustard is a wonderful ingredient to add to a face mask, as its vitamin E, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are helpful for glowing skin. Rub a thin layer of mustard over the skin and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with a warm washcloth and water. You can also apply mustard oil to the skin to help lift dark spots and regenerate the skin.
A Natural Decongestant
According to WebMD, mustard can help with colds when applied to the skin. To decongest airways, rub a layer of mustard on your chest and place a hot, damp cloth on top of the mustard. The combination of the warm cloth and the mustard will help clear your airways for easy breathing.
Here's a video on even more heath benefits of mustard.
Move Over, Ketchup!
If mustard isn't your favorite condiment yet, perhaps these benefits will have you changing your mind. The therapeutic properties of the allyl isothiocyanate compound along with the vitamins and anti-oxidants are reason enough to incorporate more mustard into your life. Bypass the ketchup and go straight for the mustard at the next summertime barbecue.