Mustard, What is it Good For?
Mustard is a spice that is derived from the mustard plant; you get the spice by grinding up the mustard seeds from the mustard plant. When you mix the ground up seed with vinegar and water it then creates the yellow condiment we know as mustard. Also the seeds can be used to make a mustard oil and the leaves can be eaten ~ they are called mustard greens. There are several different species of mustard plants, the mustard seed is used as a spice, and also can be pressed in order to make mustard oil.
History of Mustard
The mustard plant goes back to Roman times, and is related to the radish and turnip. This plant can be found all over Europe, and Asia. Mustard comes in different varieties, a mild white mustard native to North Africa, the Middle East and Mediterranean.
There is the oriental mustard that is grown in the foothills of the Himalaya and is grown commercially in Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States, and India. We also have the black mustard that is grown in Chile, Argentina, and the United States and even in some European countries. The world’s largest producers of mustard are Canada and Nepal; they produce over 50% of the world’s mustard.
Health Benefits of Mustard Greens
Mustard supports the body’s detox system, antioxidant system, and the anti-inflammatory/ inflammatory systems. When there is a chronic imbalance in these systems it can increase your risk of cancers. Of all the cancers, it seems that mustard greens work against bladder cancer the most, however; breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer are also in the mix.
Mustard greens contain glucosinolates and this supports and helps the body to detoxify. It helps us to rid ourselves of unwanted toxins in the body and prevents the toxins from becoming cancerous.
Did you know that mustard greens are a great source of vitamins E and C? Not only that, but beta-carotene, and manganese as well? These things also help to prevent cancers, and help us to avoid oxidative stress.
Mustard greens are a great source of vitamin K, great for anti-inflammatory benefits. Inflammation is one of the things that increase our chance of getting certain cancers, and other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases.
Mustard greens have a cholesterol lowering ability, which is great for heart health.
Mustard is popular as a spice; there is over 700 million pounds of mustard that is consumed worldwide every year. In the United States, mustard is the second most used spice, followed by peppercorns. All of the mustard plant is edible, everything from the seeds to the leaves and flowers.
Medicinal Uses for Mustard
Sore throat relief, mixed with some lemon juice, salt, honey and a half a cup of hot water, this can be used to soothe your sore throat. Gargle with it.
Chest decongestant, mustard can help you to eliminate the buildup of mucus in the body, you can rub mustard on your chest as a topical decongestant, you would place a hot, moist towel over the mustard and within minutes you should notice some relief.
You can use mustard to remove the skunk smell from objects, mix dry mustard with hot water and apply to any skunk affect object.
How to grow mustard at home
Growing mustard at home is pretty easy, and many home gardeners love to grow it. Mustard is very flavorful, and will produce seeds in about 60 days. With the mustard plant you can eat the leaves, they are called mustard greens, and if allowed to mature you can harvest the seeds as a spice.
Mustard will grow in almost any soil type, but in order to get the most out of your mustard plants they should be grown in well drained, well-prepared soil with a PH of no less than 6.0. This plant tends to thrive when given constant moisture. It also likes cooler weather, and it is possible that frost will improve the taste of mustard. If you are interested in growing mustard, the black mustard is the easiest to grow.
You would plant the seeds in the spring in drills that are about 1/8th of an inch deep and about 15 inches apart. You should feed the plants regularly if you are interested in harvesting a lot of seeds, but if not you can practically ignore this plant and it will do just fine.
The mustard plant is one of the plants that are pretty much free of insect and disease problems. For the most part, not many things like to feed on this plant, and that is great for you!
Velzipmur aka Shelly Wyatt
Make Mustard at Home
- How to Make Mustard - Making Homemade Mustard | Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
Instructions on how to make mustard at home. Homemade mustard is easy to make, but you do need to make your mustard a few days before you plan to eat it.