Mustard Oil is a commonly used oil and it has many uses in cooking, for lighting and even for beauty benefits for hair etc. Let us know about mustard oil benefits, its source, properties and uses.
Source, Distribution and Properties of Mustard Oil
Black mustard oil is a fixed oil obtained from the matured seeds of Brassica nigra or Brassica juncea, belonging to the family Brassicaceae (Cruciferae). The oil is obtained by expression of the seeds. The oil is also known as sarson-ka-tel.
The oil is cultivated in India, China, Canada and England. If the oil is not refined, it is a yellow coloured liquid with a strong acrid odour.
Chemical constituents of Mustard Oil:
Mustard oil contains glycerides of arachidic, behenic, eicosenoic, erusic, lignoceric, linoleic, linolenic, oleic and myristic acids. Along with the acids, the mustard seeds also contains a glycoside named as sinigrin and an enzyme myrosin.
The myrosin acts on sinigrin in the presence of water and produces potassium acid sulphate and allyl isothiocynate. Allyl isothiocynate is responsible for the strong acrid smell of volatile oil of mustard obtained by the hydrolysis of the glycoside. These are not present in the edible oil.
Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Mustard Oil:
- Fixed oil is used as edible oil after refining
- Allyl isothiocynate is the medically active constituent and acts as emetic and local irritant
- Externally, it acts as rubefacient and vasicant
- Used as a condiment
- Used in the manufacture of soap
- Refined mustard oil is used in vegetable ghee