Surprising benefits of mustard seeds

The fragrant and rustic-tasting mustard seed can be dated as far back as times of the New Testament, in which the Kingdom of Heaven was compared to a mustard seed… and you can’t get more praise than that now can you!

Mustard seeds are one of the most popular spices traded in the world today and come in three different varieties; black, white and brown. Black mustard seeds have the most pungent taste, whilst white mustard seeds (which are actually yellow in colour!) have the mildest and is the variety used to make our household yellow mustard we smother on our Sunday beef. The third variety, brown mustard seeds has a pungent taste and is used to make Dijon mustard.

These seeds may be small, but they’re packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, manganese and phosphorous. “Why is that good?” I hear you cry. Well here’s why…

Known to help relieve arthritis

Magnesium, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids have all been linked to improving arthritic symptoms and guess what, mustard seeds are a great source of all three. The selenium and magnesium content offers beneficial anti-inflammatory and heat producing properties, which when applied to painful joints has been said to offer relief and loosen muscles.

Either make the mustard seeds into a paste and apply to the painful joints, or soak in a warm bath infused with mustard seeds to feel the benefit.

Relives muscle and back ache

Soaking in a warm bath infused with mustard seeds will not only help relieve joint pain, but is also beneficial to sore and aching muscles. The extract of the seeds helps reduce spams, back pain and muscle ache.

Simply create a mustard seed infuser but wrapping up mustard seeds in a muslin cloth and soak in the bath. Fragrant and soothing…

Can reduce migraines

Let’s face it, migraines are horrible. They leave us cowering in a darkened room and are just no fun at all! Good news, mustard seeds could be a key in relieving the severity and frequency of migraines. Migraines occur when the body experiences low levels of magnesium and yes you guessed it, mustard seeds are a great source of this too. Introducing mustard seeds into your diet has been said to maintain regular levels of magnesium, making migraines (hopefully!) a distant memory. 

Suggested to help lower blood pressure

Mustard seeds are low in sodium and are in turn very beneficial for lowering blood pressure.

Mustard contains important nutrients, such as copper, iron and magnesium which help to decrease blood pressure. All these properties make mustard a great cure for hypertension.

Said to help control asthma

As we now known, mustard seeds are high in selenium and magnesium. Both components give mustard a unique anti-inflammatory property. Ayurveda traditional medicine suggests that when consumed regularly, it is known to control and fend off the symptoms of asthma, cold and chest congestion.

Brown mustard seeds can also be made into a rub by combining with oil and then applied to the asthma sufferers’ chest to give temporary relief.

Helps boost your appetite

Packed full of key nutrients, vitamins and amino acids, traditional medicines suggest that those lacking an appetite should try drinking mustard infused milk 15 minutes before a meal. This increases appetite because it…

Helps boost metabolism

Some of you may be thinking, “That’s great and all, but I’m trying to lose weight, not put it on!”, well it seems that mustard seeds may be your answer for that too…                     

Mustard seeds have been shown to boost metabolic rate by up to 25 percent! Meaning you’ll burn calories more efficiently and quicker. In fact, just 3/5 teaspoon of mustard seeds daily may help you burn an extra 45 calories an hour.

Improves digestion

Mustard seeds are a great source of fibre and we all know that fibre is key to good digestion! Introducing mustard seeds into your diet has been known to help maintain your digestive system, keeping it running smoothly. If you know what we mean…

Need some inspiration?

Green beans with red onion and mustard seed vinaigrette recipe (serves 8)

Original recipe by Gourmet 

You will need:

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 medium red onion
650g green beans


Heat 1 tablespoon oil and add mustard seeds, stirring until they pop (about 2 minutes). When cooked, put the oil and mustard seeds into a bowl.

Simmer vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, then cool.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil and cook onion. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar, then add to mustard oil in bowl.

Have ready a large bowl of ice and cold water.

Cook beans in a pot of boiling salted water. Drain and plunge into ice water, then drain well.

Toss beans with vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.

Turnips with bacon and pickled mustard seeds recipe (serves 8)

Original recipe by bon appetit

You will need:

50g sugar
60ml white balsamic vinegar
25g yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
100g pound thick-cut bacon
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
900g baby turnips
Ground black pepper


Bring sugar, vinegar, and 60ml water to a boil.

Remove from heat and stir in mustard seeds. Let stand for at least 4 hours.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add bacon and cook until brown.

Add bacon to a small bowl and stir in pickled mustard seeds and whole grain mustard; set vinaigrette aside.

Cook turnips in salted water until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and pat turnips dry.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add turnips and vinaigrette and cook, tossing, until warmed through, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to source the most up to date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that remedies in our articles are effective, when in doubt, consult your GP or a qualified Medicinal Herbalist. Remember also that herbal remedies can be dangerous under certain circumstances therefore you should always seek medical advice before self-treating with a homemade remedy, especially if you are pregnant, breast feeding or suffer from any known illness which could be adversely affected by self-treatment.

About the Author


As an animal lover and baking enthusiast, Georgia can often be found experimenting with plant-based recipes in her kitchen.

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