Mustard is an annual plant belonging to the cruciferous family. The most sought after part of the herb is the seed, which is widely used for culinary purposes. So, table mustard is prepared from fat-free meal of grains, and the seasoning of the same name is obtained from ground raw materials. In addition, young leaves of the plant are added to salads or used as an appetizer to meat and fish side dishes.
Mustard oil surpasses olive oil in taste and medicinal properties. Its chemical composition includes volatile esters, healthy omega fats, vitamins A, B, C, K and minerals. The product enhances the secretion of gastric juice, promotes expectoration in case of respiratory diseases, increases libido, suppresses pathogenic flora, accelerates tissue regeneration. In addition, glycosidic structures were found in mustard seeds, due to which the plant has a pronounced blood-stimulating effect.
Botanical description and species
Mustard is an annual cold-resistant plant, reaching 25-90 cm in height. The stem is erect, harsh, with few branches. Leaves are alternate pinnately incised with jagged edges. As they “rise” along the stem, the plates decrease, and the petiole is shortened. Flowers of a golden-yellow hue, collected in large umbellate-corymbose clusters of 25-100 buds.
The fruit is a lumpy thin pod filled with small round seeds. The flowering period of the culture is in May, and the fruiting period is in June. The plant is not picky about growing conditions and develops well on almost all types of soil (except for sandstones). In the process of growth, the roots of representatives of cruciferous plants release substances into the soil that have a powerful phytosanitary effect. Thus, mustard is an excellent precursor for crops and cereals. The plant releases the field early. Interestingly, the plowing of mustard in late autumn contributes to the death of the wireworm (a common pest).
The birthplace of culture is the Mediterranean, from where it spread to almost all continents.
Popular representatives of the species:
- White mustard (English). It has a mild taste (not spicy) and a subtle sweetish odor. White mustard seeds are used to make spicy powder and edible oil. This product goes well with garlic, cinnamon, allspice, coriander, honey and olives.
- Black mustard (French). The seeds of the plant are colored red-brown and have a pronounced pungent taste. Black mustard is used both in cooking (for making sauces) and in pharmaceuticals (for creating plasters and herbal medicines). In addition, the seed cake of this crop is used in agriculture as green manure (green fertilizer).
- Sarepta mustard (Russian). The most spicy and oily plant variety, 100 g of seeds contain up to 49% of healthy fat. Table mustard is made from the grains of the Sarep variety, and powder for mustard plasters is obtained from the cake.
- Field mustard. A harmful weed that serves as a reservoir for insect pests. Despite the fact that field mustard is not edible, it is permissible to use it for feeding farm animals.
In addition, there is the Abyssinian variety, which is used to create crambe oil used in cosmetology.
Benefit or harm
Mustard is one of the most useful spices that has antibacterial, warming, anti-inflammatory, tonic and expectorant effects on the human body. Considering that the product accelerates the transformation of fats, it is widely used in weight loss programs. In addition, mustard has now gained fame as a mild laxative, choleretic and antioxidant agent.
- Stimulates appetite, speeds up metabolism, increases saliva production.
- Thinns phlegm, promotes expectoration.
- It has a warming effect (when applied externally), relieves pain in the muscles, accelerates wound healing.
- Strengthens cerebral circulation, thereby improving cognitive functions of the brain.
- Increases sex drive (libido).
- Neutralizes the action of free radicals, slows down the aging process.
- Stimulates the secretion of the digestive glands, improves the absorption of fatty and protein foods, eliminates flatulence.
- Suppresses pathogenic flora, neutralizes the effect of toxins and toxins.
- Reduces the frequency of asthmatic attacks, reduces the intensity of manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis, relieves pain in the joints.
- Stimulates the regeneration of tissues and cells, helps to strengthen the vocal cords.
Despite the usefulness of the product in case of careless, uncontrolled use, it can be harmful to health.
Mustard is contraindicated for:
- increased acidity of the stomach;
- pulmonary tuberculosis;
- kidney pathologies (especially with nephritis and pyelonephritis);
- gastritis, enterocolitis, ulcer;
- varicose veins (for external use);
- food allergies;
- individual intolerance;
- childhood (up to 3 years).
In addition, you should not eat the seasoning at night, as its pungent taste irritates the receptors, and as a result, you may have trouble falling asleep.
Remember, the abuse of mustard threatens shortness of breath, bradycardia, inflammation of the gastric mucosa, exacerbation of ulcers.
Useful properties of mustard
The beneficial properties of mustard are largely due to the fact that this plant is rich in volatile essential oils. It is they who play the role of a natural antiseptic, killing …