Mustasa is an erect, branched, smooth
annual, 0.4 to 1 meter high. Leaves are oblong-obovate to oblong-lanceolate,
5 to 15 centimeters long, or in some cultivated forms much larger, thin, irregularly toothed or subentire, the lower ones sometimes
lobed or pinnatifid. Flowers are yellow, 6 to 8 millimeters long. Pod is ascending, linear-lanceolate,
1.5 to 3 centimeters long, and somewhat contracted between the seeds. Beak is seedless.
- Widely distributed in the
settled areas, in towns and houses, planted and spontaneous.
- Introduced from Asia.
- Now, pantropic; also occurring in some temperate regions.
• Seed contains an oily substance, "the essential oil of mustard, the active principle.
• Yields a crystallizable substance, sinnigrin, analogous to sinalbin.
• Pure mustard
oil is pale yellow, faintly smelling of mustard with a shard and pungent
• Considered analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, diuretic, emetic,
· Seeds, leaves, oil.
- Leaves eaten as green
leafy vegetable, fresh or pickled in brine.
- Excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B.
- Plaster applied to skin is a powerful irritant, rubefacient, and vesicant.
- Applied to unbroken skin, it acts as a counterirritant, producing a sensation of warmth followed by burning pain. Leaves
applied externally for pleurodynia and pleuritis, neuralgia, lumbago.
- As a plaster, mustard soothes the pain in gastralgia, colic, neuralgia, lumbago. Also, applied over the epigastrium for hiccupping and vomiting. A plaster over the nape of the neck applied to relieve cerebral congestion.
- Hot-foot bath of mustard (seeds or leaves) for headaches, common cold,
- Leaves applied to the forehead for headaches.
- Hip-bath of mustard used as emmenagogue.
- Poultice of mustard leaves or seeds used for neuralgic and rheumatic complaints.
- Pure fresh oil taken from seeds used as stimulant and external counterirritant; applied externally for sore throats, internal congestion, and chronic muscular rheumatism.
- Oil used as embrocation applied to skin in eruptions and ulcers.
- Seeds used as poultice in gout and inflammation.
- Combined oil of mustard and camphor used for muscle pains,
- As an emetic, 4-5 tsp in a cup of warm water.
- Taken internally as condiment, causes a sense of warmth in the stomach, stimulates gastric juice, sharpens the appetite and assists in digestion. In large doses, becomes a gastric irritant, and causes vomiting; as such, used as an emetic in narcotic poisoning.
- In Java, used as antisyphilitic emmenagogue.
- In China, leaves in soup for bladder, inflammation and hemorrhage.
- In India, leaves used for diabetes.
• Juncin / Antifungal Protein / Anti-Tumor: Study isolated juncin from the seeds of Japanese takana (Brassica Juncea var. integrifolia). The protein exhibited antifungal activity against Fusarium oxysporum, Helminthosporium maydis and Mycosphaerella arachidicola. It inhibited the proliferation of hepatoma and breast cancer cells.
• Anti-Diabetes Benefit: Study showed feeding of a fructose diet containing 10% Brassica juncea seeds significantly reduced fasting serum glucose, insulin and cholesterol levels. Results suggest that B juncea can play a role in the management of pre-diabetic state of insulin resistance.
• Hypoglycemic / Antihyperglycemic Effect: Study showed the B juncea diet showed significant antihyperglycemic effect in alloxan but not in STZ rats.
• Anti-Diabetic Oxidative Stress: Study of four fractions from mustard leaf (B juncea) showed the ethanolic fraction showed the strongest concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on the formation of advanced glycation products and free radical-mediated protein damage in an in vitro system suggesting a potential protective role against diabetes and/or its complications.