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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spice Speak - Mustard Magic

Mustard seeds, generally brown, are used quite a bit in Indian cooking. Brown mustard seeds are warming, and impart the pungent taste according to ayurveda. They are balancing for Kapha and Vata, but increase Pitta dosha. In ayurveda, brown mustard seeds are considered a digestive and good for alleviating stomach discomfort such as gas or cramps.

Take a little Ghee and heat it in a pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds. Watch out, they will start "popping" in hot oil or ghee. As soon as the popping begins, remove from heat and pour over the prepared dish. Stir and serve. Mustard seeds sauteed in Ghee are wonderful in lentil soups, dhals, Indian-style curries and spiced vegetables. They have a sharp flavor and are aromatic as well.

Brown mustard seeds combine well with other ayurvedic herbs and spices such as ginger, cayenne peppers, turmeric, asafeotida and coriander.
Used as medicine: Seeds and oil.

 Ayurvedic recommendations
Rai is bitter and pungent in taste with a hot potency. It is acrid, thermogenic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, digestive, and tonic in quality and is recommended in vitiated conditions of Vata and Kapha, malarial fevers, colic pain, anorexia, dyspepsia, intestinal worms, flatulence, inflammations, sin diseases, spleen and liver diseases and persistent vomiting.
Therapeutic uses

  1. Ayurveda recommends application of B. juncea oil for chest affections in children.
  2. In Indian traditional medicine, the oil is used with camphor as an effective combination for rheumatic pain and swellings.
  3. In Ayurveda, mustard seed powder is used as emetic in poison and other stomach disorders.
  4. In Ayurveda, the mustard leaf is applied externally to combat glandular swellings in conditions such as elephantiasis.
  5. It is a folk remedy for arthritis, foot ache, and rheumatism.
  6. The seed is used in Chinese medicine to treat tumor, lumbago, and stomach disorders.
  7. In China, the leaves are eaten in soups for inflammations or hemorrhages.
  8. In Africa, the root is used as galactagogue.
Side effects: No well documented contraindications. Patients hypersensitive to mustard need to avoid its use. Topical application of mustard oil may induce skin inflammation. Injection into joints may induce allodynia, hyperalgesia, and neuroinflammation.

information quoted from, food.sify


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