Mustard Oil: Health Benefits, Uses, Nutrition & Side Effects

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 23/02/2024

Maintaining a healthy diet is paramount as the rise in unhealthy food and stress levels has caused a rise in lifestyle diseases and other health problems. Oils play a vital role when cooking food, and hence, many people today choose different oils to ensure a healthy body.

Mustard oil, also known as “Sarso ka tel”, is a commonly used ingredient in Indian kitchens. Apart from imparting flavour to foods, mustard oil benefits for the body are plenty. For example, it is said to be highly beneficial for those with diabetes.

In this article, we shall tell you about mustard oil uses, benefits, side effects, and much more.

About Mustard Oil

Mustard oil has been used since ancient times. In fact, it has been known to exist since 3000 B.C. in India. It is derived from mustard seeds and makes up 30% of the seeds. Its scientific name is Brassica Juncea, belonging to the Brassicaceae family.

The oil is extracted either by pressing or through the distillation process. It can be extracted from black mustard (Brassica nigra), white mustard (Brassica Alba) or brown mustard (Brassica Juncea).

The Greek physician Hippocrates used mustard seeds to prepare medicines and it was also used as a remedy for scorpion stings. Due to its distinct taste, it is predominantly a part of Assamese, North Indian, Punjabi and Bengali cooking.

Some of its names are as follows:

  • Saray Tel in Bengali

  • Avanune in Telugu

  • Kadugu Ennai in Tamil

  • Mohariche Tel in Marathi

  • Kudugenna in Malayalam

  • Sorisha Tel in Odia

  • Rainu Tel in Gujarati

  • Sarso ka Tel in Hindi

Composition of Mustard Oil

Component Amount (100g)
Energy 844 Kcal
Lipid content 100g
Monounsaturated fatty acid 59.2g
Polyunsaturated fatty acid 21.2g
Linoleic acid 15.3g
Gamma Linoleic acid 5.9g

Mustard Oil Benefits

Mustard oil has many valuable properties which make it beneficial for various health issues. It has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are some of the mustard oil benefits for health.

  • Helps to Reduce Cardiovascular Risks- Mustard oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Consuming these fatty acids in the right quantities reduces the risk of heart-related diseases.

    This is because mustard oil reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol. The polyunsaturated fatty acids it contains also lower blood pressure and inflammation. Hence improving vascular function to keep the heart healthy.

  • Digestive Support- Mustard oil helps the secretion of digestive juices like bile and gastric acids, which enables the nutrients to break down and get absorbed in the body.

    The digestive juices reduce indigestion, bloating and flatulence. Mustard oil also has warming properties. It increases blood flow to the digestive system and improves its functioning.

  • Reduces Inflammation and Joint Pain- Among the benefits of massage with mustard oil is that it is effective for those who suffer from inflammation and joint pain as it has anti-inflammatory and warming properties.

    The topical application of mustard oil offers a soothing effect as the oil penetrates the skin. It is an excellent remedy for those with arthritis and joint pains as it provides relief from discomfort and improves flexibility.

  • Improves Blood Circulation- Since mustard oil is a potent stimulant, it is excellent for boosting blood circulation. Mustard oil helps to deliver oxygenated blood to all organs of the body at a faster rate and enhances their functioning.

  • Boosts Appetite- Mustard oil boosts the appetite and is helpful for those who are underweight and malnourished. It enables the secretion of digestive juices and makes you feel hungry. Thus, it encourages you to eat more.

  • Antibacterial Properties- The antibacterial properties of mustard oil make it effective against internal and external infections. When applied externally, it prevents wounds from getting infected. When ingested, it can help prevent internal infections in the colon, urinary tract, excretory and digestive systems.

  • Reduces Risk of Cancer- Mustard oil is rich in linolenic acid, which is said to have anti-cancer effects. Moreover, dietary glucosinolate works efficiently to reduce the carcinogenic effects of different cancers. According to a study, sulforaphane in mustard oil has preventive effects against cancer cells.

  • Helps to Manage Diabetes- Mustard oil has a low glycemic index. Hence, the blood sugar level does not spike in the body after consuming it. It also contains a fatty acid called erucic acid, which reduces the insulin resistance in the body. Hence, it is said to be helpful in managing diabetes.

  • It Has a High Smoke Point- Many oils have a lower smoke point, after which they begin to break down, produce smoke and release harmful reactive compounds called free radicals.

    Mustard oil for cooking has a very high smoke point, which makes it an ideal choice for cooking methods like frying, roasting, etc. The monounsaturated fats in mustard oil are resistant to heat-induced degradation.

Mustard Oil Uses

Mustard oil can be used for many other purposes. It is helpful for colds, coughs, and congestion. You can also use it for the benefit of your hair and skin.

Mustard Oil Benefits for Skin

Fights Fine Lines and Wrinkles - Mustard oil is rich in omega fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid. It prevents the free radicals from damaging the skin, which causes early skin ageing. It is also known to enhance collagen production, which is essential for youthful skin.

Effective for Skin Rashes - The antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of mustard oil make it an ideal choice for treating skin problems like rashes, pimples, and itching. It is also used as a remedy for skin allergies.

Exfoliation - Mustard oil is regarded as a natural cleanser. It helps to unclog the pores and results in a brighter skin tone. You can use it to exfoliate and nourish the skin deeply.

Mustard Oil for Cough and Cold

Mustard oil has been revered as a natural remedy for colds, coughs and congestion. Inhaling steam containing mustard oil is known to clear the congestion and bring relief. It is also helpful for those suffering from sinusitis.

A concoction prepared by using mustard oil, garlic cloves, and ajwain when massaged on the feet and chest brings relief from cold and cough.

Mustard Oil for Hair

  • Mustard oil can also be used to achieve your dream tresses. The benefits of mustard oil for hair can be attributed to the presence of omega fatty acids.

  • It helps to maintain the moisture of the hair and keep it silky and lively.

  • Massaging mustard oil on the scalp nourishes and strengthens the scalp and imparts shine to the hair.

  • As a natural stimulant, mustard oil improves blood circulation in the scalp. Efficient blood circulation reduces hair fall and thinning caused due to improper circulation.

  • You can prepare a mustard oil hair mask in the following way:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of mustard oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil.

  • Warm the oil for 10 seconds.

  • Apply the mask to the roots and strands.

  • Leave it for 30 minutes and wash the hair with warm water.

Mustard Oil for Cooking

You can make a variety of dishes using mustard oil, as it is renowned for giving a distinct flavour to food. Here is an easy recipe you can try to reap some mustard oil benefits.

Natal Plum and Green Chillies Pickle (Karonda Mirch Ka Achaar)


  • Natal plum (karonda) 250 gm

  • Green chilli 100 gm

  • Mustard oil 1.25 cup

  • Fennel seeds 3.5 tbsp

  • Fenugreek seed 2 tsp

  • Mustard seeds 2 tsp

  • Nigella seeds ¼ tsp

  • Asafoetida ½ tsp

  • Red chilly powder 2 tsp

  • Salt to taste


  • Wash the karonda and green chillies and air dry them.

  • Make the karonda into halves and scoop out the brown seeds.

  • Chop the green chillies. Heat ½ cup mustard oil to the smoking point and allow it to cool.

  • You can then dry roast the fennel seeds, fenugreek, and mustard seeds one by one. Cool them and grind them coarsely. Add them to the mustard oil.

  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix well and cover it overnight.

  • Mix the remaining mustard oil the next day, transfer it to a jar, and leave it to mature for a week.

Home Remedies Using Mustard Oil

  • High-quality cold-pressed mustard oil can be inhaled every night or applied at the tip of the nostrils to get relief from cold. You can also rub lukewarm oil on the chest to alleviate congestion.

  • For hair growth, you can boil henna and curry leaves with mustard oil. It helps to reduce hair fall, enhances growth, and strengthens the follicles. To moisturise the hair follicles, you can apply mustard oil mixed with coconut oil or castor oil.

  • Massaging mustard oil on the joints and body is beneficial for those with arthritis and pains in the joints.

  • Mustard oil can also be helpful in healing cracked heels. You can prepare a paste of mustard oil and paraffin wax in equal parts. This paste is an excellent way to repair dry and cracked heels.

  • Applying mustard oil on the nail reduces the brittleness. It is also effective for dehydrated skin.

Mustard Oil Side Effects

Though mustard oil is an excellent source of healthy fatty acids, it comes with side effects if used in high quantities.

Allergic Reactions - Mustard oil can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Not Recommended for Pregnant Women - Mustard oil is not safe for pregnant women as some chemical compounds can be harmful to them as well as the foetus.

May Cause Skin Irritation - The natural compounds in mustard oil can cause mild irritation to some people. Its application causes skin rashes known as lichen planus. Some people can also experience eye irritation by applying it on the scalp.

Gastrointestinal Disease - Allyl isothiocyanate, a chemical compound in mustard oil, can cause lung inflammation and gastrointestinal diseases in some individuals.

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Mustard oil is a wonderful ingredient that deserves a place in your kitchen. Apart from culinary mustard oil benefits, this golden oil provides immense benefits like joint pain relief, cold and congestion relief, benefits to the hair and skin, and so on.

However, it is advisable to be cautious while using the oil as overconsumption can cause serious side effects like rashes, gastrointestinal diseases, skin and eye irritation and so on. You can try some lip-smacking recipes with mustard oil and treat your taste buds!


Is mustard oil good for using every day?

Yes, mustard oil is an excellent choice for cooking food every day. It contains healthy amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which provide various health benefits.

Is mustard oil hot or cold?

Mustard oil has hot properties. Hence, it is used to treat colds and coughs and to alleviate joint and body pains, too.

Which mustard oil is good for health?

Using cold-pressed mustard oil is the best as it is unrefined and provides umpteen benefits for the health. Cold-pressed oil is extracted by using the chemical-free method, which makes it the best choice for a healthy oil.

How can the pungency of mustard oil be removed?

If you want to remove the zest of mustard oil before cooking vegetables and curries in it, you must heat it till smoke emerges. Once the smoke starts coming out, the spice is gone and you can cook food in it.

Disclaimer: This is a general guide on mustard oil. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. It is advisable to consult a qualified health professional for treatment in severe cases.

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