#HealthBytes: Hate mustard oil? You're missing out on these benefits
If you grew up in India, you probably have heard your mother or grandmother rave about the goodness of mustard oil. This oil has a strong flavor, pungent aroma, and is commonly used in Indian cuisine. Mustard oil is also applied topically as a massage oil and for hair treatment. This article looks into the various health benefits of mustard oil.
In India, mustard oil has been an age-old remedy for the treatment of cough and cold. The heating property of this golden fluid helps in clearing chest congestion, and inhaling mustard oil steam is often recommended as a home remedy. Rubbing the mustard oil on the chest before going to bed also effectively clears the respiratory tract and provides relief from cold and cough.
Mustard oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that has a variety of health benefits, especially when it comes to heart health. Research proves that replacing saturated fat in the diet with MUFA can decrease the LDL cholesterol levels and thus protecting the heart. Further, it also helps in lowering triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
Studies prove that mustard oil has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties that can fight against infections in the body. Test-tube studies have also shown promising results in the effectiveness of the oil against bacteria strains such as E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus. Applying mustard oil externally and even consuming it is effective in fighting against several infections, including digestive tract infections.
Though human research in this aspect is minimal, several laboratory studies suggest that mustard oil is capable of inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Studies conducted on rats prove that pure mustard oil blocked the growth of colon cancer cells. Similarly, another animal study observed that the compound allyl isothiocyanate present in mustard oil reduced bladder cancer growth by nearly 35%.