It’s National Mustard Day in the USA today. I’m in the UK, but wanted to take a moment to share in the appreciation of this wonderful herb. You may know it best for its use as a condiment. However, did you know it has a very long history as a medicinal plant dating back thousands of years?

From Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to European herbalism, mustard is viewed as warming and stimulating. It is rich in monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals and has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-microbial properties. Mustard seed oil also has a rubefacient effect, dilating capillaries, boosting circulation and bringing redness to the skin. It can help to relieve pain from aching joints and muscles. If you experience discomfort from conditions such as osteo or rheumatoid arthritis, mustard seed oil may offer some relief.

A mustard foot bath, or plasters/poultices are a traditional choice to clear respiratory congestion. Useful in cases of colds, coughs and sinusitis. It also offers a boost in cases of tiredness and fatigue.

Are you concerned about your scalp and hair health? Mustard seed oil is a popular choice for Indian Head Massage because of its stimulating, vitamin and mineral-rich properties.

As an aromatherapist, mustard seed oil can be useful in the preparation that I make. It’s an oil I may reach for in blends for sports injuries such as strains and sprains, plus other aches and pains, alongside infused oils such as arnica and comfrey. For scalp health, it can be useful alongside essential oils such as rosemary.

However, mustard seed oil also highlights the benefits of a thorough consultation. It can cause skin irritation and may not be suitable for everybody. Please note that some of the other oils I mention are also potentially not suitable where you may be pregnant, very young or elderly, or have an underlying health condition.

There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet! If in doubt, please consult a suitably qualified aromatherapist who is a member of a professional organisation such as: