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Mustard (Brassica alba, Brassica juncea, Brassica nigra)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 2',3',4',5',6'-pentahydroxy chalcone, 3,5,6,7,8-pentahydroxy flavones, 3,5,6,7,8-pentahydroxy-4'-methoxy flavones, 4-hydroxybenzyl glucosinolate, 4-hydroxyglucobrassicin, 4-O-methyl-beta-D-glucuronic acid-containing rhamnogalacturonan, adenine phosphoribosyltransferase, allylamine, allyl cyanide, allyl isothiocyanate, allyl thiocyanate, alpha-linolenic acid (ALNA), amylase, apigenin, ascorbic acid, behenic acid, beta-amylase, beta-glucuronidase, black mustard, blue-light photoreceptors, brassic acid, Brassica, Brassica alba, Brassica juncea, Brassica nigra, Brassica sinapistrum, Brassica synapoides, Brassicaceae (family), brassilexin, brassin, brown mustard, carbohydrates, charlock, Chinese mustard, cis-monounsaturated fatty acids, cruciferin proteins, crystalline antithiamine factor, cysteine, DazitolTM, erucic acid, fatty acids, flavonoid tetraglycosides, flavonoids, fructose, fu-tsai, gallic acid, gamma-thionin proteins (M1, M2A and M2B), glucoiberin, gluconapin, glucoraphanin, glucosinolates, glutamic acid, glutamine, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, glyoxalase I, hydroxycinnamic acid diglycosides, hydroxycinnamic acid monoglycosides (gentiobioses), Indian mustard, iron, isorhamnetin 7-O-glucoside, isothiocyanates, juncin, kaempferol-3-O-(2-O-sinapoyl)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-->2)-beta-D-glucopyranoside-7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, kaempferol-3-O-(2-O-sinapoyl)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-->2)-beta-D-glucopyranoside-7-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-->6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside, kaempferol-3-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-->2)-beta-D-glucopyranoside-7-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-->6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside, kaempferol 7-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-->3)-[beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-->6)]-glucopyranoside, leaf mustard, lipids, low-mass volatile components, methylselenocysteine, methylselenomethionine, mucilage, mustard greens, mustard oil, mustard trypsin inhibitor 2 (MTI-2), myrosin, myrosinases, napins, nitrogen, oleic acid, omega 3-polyunsaturated fatty acid, p-hydroxybenzoylcholine, p-hydroxybenzyl isothiocyanate (PBH), p-hydroxybenzylamine, phenolic antioxidants, phenols, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, phospholipase D, phthalic acid esters, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, potassium, proline, protein, rai (Hindi), salicylic acid, SAP 104, selenium, selenomethionine, sinalbin (4-hydroxybenzylglucosinolate), sinalbin A, sinalbin B, sinalbin-degrading enzyme, sinapic acid, sinapine, Sinapis alba, Sinapis arvensis, sinigrin, S-nitrosylated proteins, stearic acid, suan-tsai, sulfur, Synapis alba, Synapis negra, takana, tannic acid, thiocyanate, trichomes, tricresyl phosphate, vitamin A, vitamin C, white mustard, yellow mustard.
  • Note: This monograph covers Sinapis alba (also called Brassica alba, yellow mustard, or white mustard), Brassica juncea (also called brown mustard or Indian mustard), and Brassica nigra (black mustard). Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard), Arabidopsis thaliana, Sinapis arvensis (wild mustard, charlock), Brassica napus (rapeseed), and Brassica campestris (also called Brassica rapa, field mustard, or turnip mustard) were not included. Chemicals such as nitrogen mustard are not related to the mustard plant and therefore are not covered in this monograph. Studies about mustard oil are included. However, mustard oil usually refers to isothiocyanates (sometimes dissolved in mineral oil), which are not necessarily isolated from the mustard plant.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Mustards are several plant species in the genera Brassica and Sinapis. Currently, mustard's primary use is as a condiment. The most common types of mustard are Sinapis alba (also called Brassica alba, yellow mustard, or white mustard), a plant of Mediterranean origin; and Brassica juncea (also called brown mustard or Indian mustard), which is of Himalayan origin. Black mustard (Brassica nigra) fell out of use in commercial mustard products in the 1950s because it was unsuitable for mechanical harvesting.
  • Isothiocyanate compounds are responsible for mustard's pungency. Mustard oil is a pungent plant extract from mustard seed, horseradish, and wasabi, the main constituent of which is allyl isothiocyanate (1;2). Mustard oil is used in India and elsewhere as a cooking oil. However, high doses of mustard oil injected or applied topically act as an irritant and induce an inflammatory response. In animal study, mustard oil is commonly used to induce a neuroinflammatory condition.
  • Traditionally, mustard or mustard oil have been used as a treatment for gastrointestinal disorders, as a natural antimicrobial to eliminate foodborne bacteria and pathogens, by diabetics, as an emetic, and as a massage oil to improve blood circulation, muscular development, and skin texture (3;4;5). Mustard plaster (a mixture of flour and mustard powder) has been traditionally applied to the chest and abdomen to promote healing.
  • There is limited clinical evidence in support of the use of mustard plaster for bronchitis (6) or for the use of mustard oil in prevention of myocardial infarction (7;8). There is conflicting evidence as to whether mustard oil is effective at lowering cholesterol levels (9;10) or as to its beneficial effects as a massage agent in infants (11;12;13). At this time, there is a lack of high-quality human trials in support of the use of mustard or mustard oil for any indication. Better-designed clinical trials are needed before recommendations can be made regarding using mustard products for any health condition.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.