Mustard oil, which is produced from the seeds of the mustard plant, is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine.
Known for its strong flavor, pungent aroma, and high smoke point, it’s often used for sautéing and stir-frying vegetables in many parts of the world, including India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
Although pure mustard oil is banned for use as a vegetable oil in the United States, Canada, and Europe, it’s often applied topically and used as a massage oil, skin serum, and hair treatment
Mustard essential oil, a type of essential oil produced from mustard seeds using a steam distillation process, is also available and approved for use as a flavoring agent
Here are benefits of mustard oil and mustard essential oil, along with some simple ways to use them.
1. May block microbial growth
Some studies have found that mustard essential oil possesses powerful antimicrobial properties and may help block the growth of certain types of harmful bacteria.
According to one test-tube study, white mustard essential oil decreased the growth of several strains of bacteria, including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus
2. May promote skin and hair health
Pure mustard oil is often applied topically to help optimize hair and skin health.
As well as adding it to homemade face masks and hair treatments, it’s sometimes mixed with wax and applied to the feet to help heal cracked heels.
In areas like Bangladesh, it’s also commonly used to perform oil massages on newborns, which is thought to enhance the strength of the skin barrier
5. May support heart health
Mustard oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fat found in foods like nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils
How to use it
Pure mustard oil is not permitted for use as a vegetable oil in many countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, and Europe
This is because it contains a compound called erucic acid, which is a fatty acid that can have serious adverse effects on heart health
On the other hand, mustard essential oil is extracted from mustard seeds via a steam distillation process, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed it generally recognized as safe as a flavoring agent
Although the two are considered different types of oil, they are both extracted from mustard seeds and share many of the same beneficial compounds.
Both can also be diluted with a carrier oil, applied topically, and used as a massage oil or mixed into homemade skin serums and scalp treatments.