Helps fight off harmful bacteria
Mustard essential oil has been found to be a powerful antibacterial agent. One study found that mustard essential oil effectively killed off common and harmful bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, staph, listeria, and even a certain type of yeast. It can also be used as an anti-fungal
According to the ISJR, mustard essential oil has great anti-inflammatory properties. Historically, mustard oil has been used to:
- treat arthritis
- soothe aches and pains
- decrease inflammation from chest conditions such as bronchitis and pneumonia
Relieves body pain
One interesting study looked at using mustard oil to relieve widespread and chronic body pain in mice. The researchers found that mustard oil works against certain pain receptors in the body. That means it can block some pain signals. More research needs to be done before we can say that mustard oil works the same way in humans, but it’s a hopeful idea as a simple way to treat widespread pain.
Mustard essential oil can help lower body temperature by stimulating sweat glands. This makes it useful for reducing fever.
Risks and warnings
Pure, unregulated mustard oil can be pretty dangerous stuff. For example, one study found that mixing unadulterated mustard oil with argemone oil, a combination sometimes found in Indian food, can destroy red blood cells in the body. Any mustard oil that is contaminated with argemone oil is considered dangerous to humans.
When using mustard essential oil, you’ll also want to watch for allergies. Test a small amount of the essential oil on the skin away from your face or lungs. Wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction before applying a larger amount. As with any essential oils, you should not use mustard essential oil on infants.
The bottom line
You can find both mustard oil and mustard essential oil in exotic food retailers or through online vendors. Research questions the safety of mustard oil for cooking, and it might be best avoided, especially for young children or pregnant women. In fact, the FDA prohibits selling the oil for this purpose.
Using a mustard essential oil on your skin, however, is safe. It may provide health benefits such as pain relief and infection prevention.