Mustard oil, commonly known as Sarso ka Tel in most parts of India, is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. Popular for its strong flavor, high smoke point, and pungent aroma, it’s mostly used as cooking oil — for sauteing and stir-frying vegetables in most kitchens.
But that’s not it. Mustard oil is also good for hair and widely used as hair oil. Some people also apply it topically as a massage oil. That said, the benefits of mustard oil don’t end here. Read on to know all the benefits of this cooking oil.
Numerous studies found that mustard oil possesses strong antibacterial properties, which allow it to stop or minimize the growth of certain harmful bacteria. One test-tube study found that, of all the essential oils, such as mustard, thyme, and Mexican oregano, mustard oil had the most antibacterial effects.
So, applying mustard oil to skin problems caused by bacteria or wounds may prevent the further growth of bacteria and aid in speedy recovery. However, more research is needed to confirm the antibacterial effects of mustard oil in humans.
Most Indians topically apply mustard oil to optimize skin and hair health. What’s more, some also add it to homemade face masks and hair treatments to improve their benefits. But mustard oil benefits for the skin don’t stop there. You can also apply it to your feet to help heal cracked heels.
In South Asian countries, particularly India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, mustard oil uses include performing oil massages on newborns and treating skin infections with its topical application. However, the benefits of mustard oil in this area are purely anecdotal, as no research has been conducted confirming its efficacy.
One of the most notable benefits of mustard oil is its effect on cardiac health when consumed every day. The oil is packed with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, both of which are considered excellent for overall health. Studies reveal that these fats help lower triglycerides, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure — all of which are high-risk factors for heart disease.
Plus, mustard oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are known to prevent cardiovascular disease by decreasing bad cholesterol levels and increasing good cholesterol levels.
You probably didn’t know this, but pure mustard oil is often used as a home remedy to treat cold symptoms, such as congestion and coughing. People mix it with camphor, which is found in more ointments and creams, and directly apply the mixture to the chest to get instant relief from cold symptoms.
Additionally, you can add a few drops of mustard oil to boiling water and inhale the steam to get relief from blocked nose and cough. That said, these are home remedies and have not been studied scientifically.
While mustard oil benefits for skin, hair, and overall health are endless, the aforementioned ones are most notable. However, it’s always recommended to use pure mustard oil produced from the highest quality mustard seeds and under the strictest standards possible to reap the most benefits.
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