Table of Contents
- How is Mustard Oil Made?
- How many types of mustard oil are there?
- What is the Nutritional Composition of Mustard Oil?
- What are Mustard Oil’s Benefits for Health and Skin?
- Promotes Heart Health
- Boosts Immunity
- Supports Digestion
- Enhances Skin Health
- Relieves Joint Pain and Inflammation
- Can I Use Mustard Oil for Body Massage?
- What are the Various Culinary Uses of Mustard Oil?
- Regional Importance of Mustard Oil in Indian Cuisine
- Is Mustard Oil Safe to Cook With?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Whether it’s the creamy Sarson ka saag, lip-smacking gajar gobi ka achar, or the spicy kasundi chutney, the unmistakable kick of mustard oil brings alive the flavours of any dish.
Loved for its distinct pungent flavour and aroma, mustard oil has been a cherished cooking oil and wellness aid for centuries. Apart from its culinary uses, mustard oil offers a wide range of health benefits for the body and skin.
In this comprehensive guide on mustard oil, we will take a look into its manufacturing process, explore its rich nutritional composition, delve into its various health benefits, and discuss its various applications and uses.
Mustard oil, with its rich history and deep-rooted cultural significance, has been an integral part of human civilization for centuries. Its usage in India can be traced right back upto 3000 BCE when Indian farmers first started growing mustard. Archaeological evidence suggests that both mustard and mustard oil were used during the Indus Valley Civilization in the cities of Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and Dhola Vira.
The Ayurvedic texts mention mustard oil as a potent remedy for various ailments, including digestive disorders, respiratory issues, joint pain, and skin conditions. Its warming properties made it particularly valuable in promoting blood circulation and reducing inflammation.
Beyond its medicinal applications, mustard oil has played a distinctive role in traditional Indian cuisine. It became an essential ingredient in regional dishes, with each region adding its unique touch to the culinary heritage.
In fact, throughout history, mustard oil’s versatility has allowed it to transcend geographical boundaries and become an integral part of the culinary traditions of many cultures around the world.
In ancient Rome, mustard oil was highly valued for its flavor and medicinal properties. The Romans used it not only in cooking but also as a massage oil and as a base for perfumes. In China, mustard oil found its place in traditional medicine and was believed to have warming properties that invigorated the body and promoted circulation.
From the ancient civilizations of India and Rome to the rich traditions of China, mustard oil has left its mark on the tapestry of human history.
How is mustard oil made?
Mustard oil is made from the seeds of the mustard plant. With characteristic bright yellow flowers sprawled over acres, this flavorsome herb is cultivated in northern India in Rajasthan, Punjab, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, and West Bengal. A part of the Brassicaceae family which includes other vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, radish, and rapeseed, mustard seeds are used both as a spice and oil source.
Mustard oil owes its distinctive pungent flavor to allyl isothiocyanate, a compound that is also present in foods such as horseradish and wasabi.
The mustard oil process begins with the thorough cleaning of the seeds to remove any impurities. Once cleaned, the seeds are ground into a coarse paste. The paste is then pressed to extract the oil. The extracted oil is collected and filtered to remove any solid particles.
How many types of mustard oil are there?
Based on the extraction method, mustard oil can be found in two main varieties:
1. Normal Mustard oil / Solvent extracted Mustard Oil: – Most mustard oils found in the market are hot-pressed. This means they are made by using high heat and chemical solvents like Hexane to extract the oil from mustard seeds. While this results in more quantity of the oil being extracted, the quality of the oil including its taste and health benefits is significantly reduced. In fact, many of these solvents including Hexane or other hydrocarbons may be left in traces in the final product and are considered toxic with side effects ranging from headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and lightheadedness. This extraction process also may oxidize the oil, turning it into trans fats. In fact, the smell of this chemically extracted oil is so rancid that a cleaning process has to take place using bleach to deodorize it,
But this is not all. The oil is further subjected to the refining process to improve its shelf life and make it seem clearer in appearance to the consumer. In this process, more heat and chemicals are used, further declining the oil quality.
So, while the oil looks clear, and is usually cheaper in price, it is devoid of real health benefits and rich flavour. In fact, many experts agree that refined oils are manufactured with hazardous chemicals and contain a lot of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, which can aggravate an impaired insulin response, increasing inflammation in the body. Several research studies have linked the consumption of refined oils to diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
The refining process also creates PUFAS (rancid polyunsaturated fatty acids) which do not hold up well to high heat.
Also being high in erucic acid, a poor extraction process can actually make the oil unsafe for human consumption.
- Cold-pressed or Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil – In contrast, the cold-pressed method uses only mechanical pressure at room temperature to extract the oil. While the yield of oil is lower, it retains all its natural nutrients, essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants. Also, the flavor is more vibrant and pungent, and the color is darker, indicating its purity and natural composition.
Hence cold pressed mustard oil is healthy and safe, offering a plethora of therapeutic benefits for your health. ORGANIC INDIA Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil or cold pressed mustard oil is made from the first press of high-grade, certified organic whole mustard seeds. Naturally rich in pungent flavour and aroma, this heart-friendly MUFA-rich (Monosaturated fatty acids) oil is ideal for enhancing the taste and nutrition of any dish. It’s also great for hair and body massage.
What is the Nutritional Composition of Mustard Oil?
Since normal mustard oil is devoid of several health benefits, we will discuss the nutritional composition of cold-pressed Mustard oil. Cold-pressed mustard oil boasts a remarkable nutritional profile that contributes to its health benefits. It is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The predominant fatty acids found in mustard oil are monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats play a crucial role in supporting overall well-being, promoting heart health, and reducing inflammation. Additionally, mustard oil contains significant amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K, and small quantities of vitamin A, which are essential for various bodily functions and help support healthy skin.
So, let’s look at some of its benefits for our health.
What are cold-pressed Mustard Oil’s Benefits for Health and Skin?
A. Promotes Heart Health
Mustard oil has long been recognized for its potential to promote heart health. Its balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids contributes to maintaining a healthy cholesterol profile. The omega-3 fatty acids in mustard oil have been associated with reducing levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing levels of good cholesterol (HDL). By supporting a healthy lipid profile, mustard oil helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
B. Boosts Immunity
Mustard oil contains a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to its immune-boosting properties. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body, thereby strengthening the immune system. The presence of minerals like zinc and selenium further enhances the body's immune response. Including mustard oil in your diet can help protect against infections, improve overall immune function, and support the body's natural defense mechanisms.
C. Supports Digestion
Mustard oil has long been associated with digestive health benefits. It stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, including bile and gastric acids, which aid in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. This stimulation promotes healthy digestion and can alleviate symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, and flatulence. Additionally, the warming properties of mustard oil help improve blood flow to the digestive system, further enhancing its functionality.
D. Enhances Skin Health
Lack of proper lubrication and hydration can disrupt the protective skin barrier, making it dry and dull and susceptible to skin infections. Naturally rich in beneficial fatty acids, the benefits of mustard oil for the skin include its ability to moisturize and nourish, reduce dryness, and promote a healthy complexion. It contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radicals and supports skin cell regeneration. Regular application of mustard oil for the skin can diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, and promote a youthful glow.
E. Relieves Joint Pain and Inflammation
Do you suffer from stiff and achy joints? The warming and anti-inflammatory properties of mustard oil make it a natural remedy for joint pain and inflammation. When applied topically, mustard oil penetrates the skin and provides a soothing effect on sore muscles and joints. It improves blood circulation to the affected areas, reducing pain and inflammation. Massaging the joints with warm mustard oil can help alleviate discomfort, increase flexibility, and provide relief from conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism.
Mustard oil’s rich nutrient and flavour profile makes it a versatile oil with a variety of applications and uses. Some of the popular queries about its application include:
1. Can I Use Mustard Oil for Body Massage?
Aside from its culinary and skincare applications, mustard oil has a long history of use in traditional body massage practices. The warming properties of mustard oil make it an ideal choice for body massage, as it helps relax muscles, improves blood circulation, and relieves stress and fatigue. Regular body massage with mustard oil can nourish the skin, promote deep relaxation, alleviate muscular tension, and provide a rejuvenating experience. For the best results, choose high-quality cold-pressed mustard oil like Organic India's Mustard Oil, known for its purity, naturally rich nutrient profile, and therapeutic properties.
2. What are the Various Culinary Uses of Mustard Oil?
Mustard oil uses in the culinary traditions of various cultures, especially in Indian, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani cuisines are wide and elaborate. Its distinct pungent flavor and aroma add a unique character to dishes. Mustard oil is used in a wide range of cooking techniques, including frying, sautéing, and pickling. It serves as a versatile cooking medium and lends its pungency to enhance the taste of various preparations, from curries and stir-fries to marinades and condiments.
In the culinary landscape of India, mustard oil holds immense importance and plays a prominent role in various regional cuisines. From the fiery curries of North India to the aromatic dishes of the East, mustard oil is cherished for its distinct flavor and aroma, which adds a unique character to traditional recipes. Let's explore the regional significance of this prized ingredient in Indian cuisine:
North India: Mustard oil is a staple in the kitchens of North India, where it is widely used in Punjabi, Rajasthani, and Bengali cuisines. In Punjabi cuisine, this versatile oil is the preferred cooking medium for preparing dishes like sarson da saag (a popular mustard greens curry) and makki di roti (cornmeal flatbread). Rajasthani cuisine utilizes mustard oil for its famous spicy curries, pickles, and chutneys. In Bengali cuisine, mustard oil is an integral part of the traditional five-spice blend called panch phoron, used in dishes like shorshe ilish (hilsa fish in mustard sauce) and shorshe bata macher jhal (mustard fish curry).
East India: Mustard oil holds immense significance in the culinary traditions of East India, particularly in Bengali and Odia cuisines. In Bengali cuisine, it is widely used for frying, sautéing, and tempering dishes. This flavorful oil imparts a distinct flavor to popular dishes like macher jhol (fish curry), begun bhaja (fried eggplant), and shorshe posto (mustard and poppy seed paste). Similarly, in Odia cuisine, mustard oil is essential for dishes like macha bhaja (fried fish), potala rasa (pointed gourd curry), and santula (a mixed vegetable medley).
West India: Mustard oil finds its cherished position in the culinary traditions of West India as well, especially in the state of Gujarat. Gujarati cuisine incorporates this flavorful oil in various dishes like dal dhokli (lentil dumplings in spiced gravy), sev tameta nu shaak (tomato curry with crispy noodles), and khandvi (savory gram flour rolls). The addition of mustard oil adds a distinct flavor and richness to these preparations, elevating the taste and aroma.
South India: While mustard oil is not as prevalent in South Indian cuisine compared to other regions, it still finds its way into certain dishes and preparations. In Kerala, for example, mustard oil is used in the preparation of traditional fish curries, adding a unique tang and depth of flavor. It is also used for tempering chutneys and pickles, enhancing their taste and preserving qualities.
The regional importance of mustard oil in Indian cuisine showcases its versatility and deep-rooted connection to culinary traditions, adding a delightful twist to the taste profiles.
Next time you savor a traditional Indian dish, take a moment to appreciate the role of this prized ingredient that has been passed down through generations, enhancing the authentic flavors and aromas. Choose a high-quality mustard oil, to ensure you experience the true essence of this versatile oil.
However, while well-loved in south-asian cuisine, the use of Mustard Oil is still quite low in the rest of the world, due to speculation about its safety and impact on health. This raises an important question, “Is Mustard Oil Safe to Cook With?”
Is Mustard Oil Safe to Cook With?
The safety of mustard oil for cooking has been a topic of discussion due to its erucic acid content. Erucic acid is a fatty acid naturally found in some plant oils, including mustard oil. Studies have raised concerns about the potential health effects of consuming high levels of erucic acid. In small doses, erucic acid is safe, but higher levels may be dangerous.
Hence it’s important to buy a trusted and authentic brand to avoid concerns of adulteration or high erucic acid levels.
This brings us to the important question:
Q1. Is mustard oil safe to cook with?
Having a high smoking point, high-quality, cold-pressed mustard oil is safe for cooking as well as can be used raw as a seasoning for salads and marinades.
Q2. Also, is mustard oil good or bad for you?
Used in moderation, a good quality, cold-pressed mustard oil is safe and healthy for use. Hence you don’t have to sacrifice the taste of your favorite dishes and can safely consume mustard oil. Just make sure you buy your brand from a safe and trusted manufacturer.
Organic India's Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil is carefully processed and undergoes rigorous quality checks to ensure that it meets international safety standards. With Organic India's commitment to delivering pure and safe products, you can enjoy the culinary benefits of mustard oil with confidence.
Mustard oil, with its distinctive flavor, remarkable health benefits, and versatile uses, serves as a valuable addition to both culinary and wellness practices. By choosing Organic India's Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil, you can further enhance the benefits of mustard oil with its superior quality and commitment to purity. Whether you use it in cooking, skincare, or body massage, mustard oil offers a natural and wholesome way to enhance your well-being.