MUSTARD Brassica alban; Brassica juncea; Brassica nigra
(Used extensively as a spice). Mustard plasters are made up of a few spoonfuls of mustard powder made into a paste and coated on absorbent cloth. When applied to sore muscles or bruises, the mustard plaster has a soothing effect. The plaster may also be applied to back and chest to aid in relieving congestion .
A mix of mustard powder and water makes a mouthwash used to relieve sore throat and bronchial distress. A paste of mustard powder has been used to deaden toothache by pressing the paste into the affected tooth.
Used as a foot-bath it is said to ease the aches and pains of daily abuse to the human foot. Soaking hands helps relieve arthritis and rheumatism distress.
Mustard also acts to stimulate the kidneys and, if given as a drink in quantity will tend to induce vomiting (emetic). If retained and not regurgitated, mustard acts as a laxative.
If you know of other uses of mustard in healing, send to:
While of limited use in rituals (mustard powder does not have a good aroma when burned), mustard powder has been used to aid in healing-hand training. A healer using energy to aid in the healing process needs to learn to focus energy through the hands and into the patient. Coating the hands with mustard paste (black mustard powder is traditionally used for this) aids in focus by warming the skin and creating a "tingling" sensation. With practice, this sensation, similar to the way a healer's hands feel during intense healing energy transfer can be reproduced without the mustard because the mind/body remembers the sensation and can re-create it by sending energy to the area. With time and practice, healing-hands can become very effective.
VARIETIES OF MUSTARD SEED.
Black seed is strongest in pungency but difficult to find owing to it's bad habit of dropping it's seeds very easily. This makes harvesting by hand the normal method used and creates a more expensive, rare product. Black mustard (Brassica nigra) grows to about 3 feet with small bright yellow flowers. The seed pods contain twelve seeds in erect pods close to the main stem.
Brown mustard seeds (Brassica juncea) are milder than black mustard seed. This plant is native to India, has larger seed pods than the black mustard and is easier to harvest.
White mustard (Brassica alba) is the mildest and most common of the mustard seed used in condiment spicing. It grows throughout North America and Europe and is commonly regarded as a weed. The plant grows to 2 feet tall and has bright yellow flowers. Seed pods hold about six seeds and grow horizontally along the stem.
Whether you grow you own or purchase seeds from the store, the seeds should be crushed and powdered at home just prior to use. Crush in either a mortar and pestle or powder in a blender. Recently harvested seeds tend to paste somewhat but seeds that have been put up and allowed to season for a few weeks or months will powder nicely.
Mustard seeds and powder must not be mixed more than a few minutes prior to using. The mustard essential oil reacts quickly with oxygen to kill the flavor.
Use milk or beer to mix the powder or crushed seeds for best results. Vinegar and heat destroy the essential oil which produces the flavor so desired in fresh mustard. When adding to hot dishes, add late in the process, preferably just prior to serving to preserve the essential oil.
Store-bought preparations (pre-mixed) will have flavor from added spices but will have lost the essential oil needed to provide the true flavor and joy of mustard. When making your own mustard from purchased or home-grown seeds remember to make the mustard sauce within about 10 minutes of using.
The formula for American-style mustard is:
Mild white mustard seeds (powdered).
Vinegar (to make a paste)
Sugar to taste
Spices (as imagination allows)
Tumeric (small amount)
Other mustards include;
German---using black seed and vinegar.
Dijon---using brown seeds (formerly only black seeds) blended with wine.
Meaux---in which black seeds are both powdered and crushed, then mixed with vinegar.
Honey mustard---similar to American but with abundant honey to flavor.
Mustards can be mixed with many kinds of liquids to form the condiment desired, including (but not limited to) whiskey to wine, many varieties of vinegar, types of honey, beer, soft cheese, or other liquid as you can imagine, even with champagne.
Spicy sprouts can easily be grown in the usual sprouting jar. Do not use too many seeds at once. No more than two teaspoons to a quart jar will keep the seeds from souring too easily. Rinse seeds twice a day for best results. Seedlings will be edible from smallest sprouts until fibrous roots develop.