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Description - Research and Analysis
Mustard Sisymbrium offivinale L. (Singer's Plant; Black Mustard: Brassica nigra or Sinapsis nigra; White Mustard: Sinapsis alba, Brassica alba or Brassica hirta; Wild Mustard: Sinapsis arvensis).
Mustard seeds were used to stimulate circulation, relieve respiratory infections, and remedy stomach complaints. In large doses they acted as a powerful emetic. Added to baths they relieved muscular and rheumatic aches, and alleviated cold and flu symptoms. Used as a poultice, or plaster, they reduced inflammations and eased pain. The seeds were chewed for toothache. Powdered, they were used as a snuff to cure headaches. "In short," wrote Culpeper, "whenever a strong stimulating medicine is wanted to act upon the nerves, and not excite heat, there is none preferable to mustard seed." The hedge mustard was known as the "singer's mustard" because it was used to relieve failing voices and improve vocal performance. Over use of mustard should be avoided; it may blister sensitive skins.
Young mustard leaves and flowers were added to salads. The ground seeds were mixed with water, vinegar, wine, or verjuice, and used to make a variety of culinary mustards, the strongest being English (a mixture of white and black). As a pungent sauce, mustard was served with a variety of dishes, especially salt meats and fish. In medieval monasteries, mustard seeds were also valued as a food preservative, especially in pickles and chutneys. To produce the traditional "mustard and cress" Sinapis alba was sown indoors in trays a few days after the slower-growing cress (Lepidium sativum).
A native of Mediterranean lands and much of Europe, mustard was cultivated by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. Both black and white mustards were probably introduced into Britain by the Romans. The name derives from the Latin words mustum (unfermented grape juice) and ardens (burning or fiery), for the condiment was originally made by mixing the hot seeds with mustum. In medieval times one of the main centres of mustard production was in the Vale of Gloucester. Indeed, Shakespeare mentions "Tewkesbury mustard" in Henry IV Part II. Traditionally, the ground seeds were made into balls for sale in shops and market places. The plant, listed by Aelfric, was also grown for animal fodder, and as green manure.
Mustard flour is used for two main purposes. It is first a rubefacient in the form of powder, mustard plaster or baths. It is secondly the basis of a well known preparation known as table mustard which can be an aperitive and digestive of value.
Clinical experience has confirmed what chemistry had postulated, i. e., for mustard to be effective, it must be diluted in warm water of 30-40°. Trousseau has proven by comparative experiments, that mustard plasters made with mustard flour and very strong vinegar were less rubefacient than those that had been prepared with sawdust and the same vinegar. This proved that vinegar and mustard mutually destroy each others effects. So warm water is what must always be used for mustard plasters and baths.
There are a great many cases in which mustard plasters or revulsive baths, partial or general, can be used to good effect. They are useful whenever it is a matter of producing a derivation, general stimulation, as in apoplexy, paralysis, comatose affections, typhoid fever and some neuralgic complaints, sciatica and pulmonary emphysema. Any well prepared mustard plaster must act in 10 minutes and must not be applied more than 15 or 20 minutes.
White Mustard seed is used to good effect as a depurative, in a dose of one tablespoonful for constipation, dyspeptic troubles, apepsia, flatulence, in short, almost any case where there are serious digestive disorders.
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Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 tea bag for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes. Pour into your cup; add milk and natural sweetener to taste.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 tea bags into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea itself. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the serving pitcher straining the tea bags. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
Not intended for very young children.
If you suffer from cardiovascular problems, consult your health care provider prior to using Mustard Seed.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.