The History of Mustard Oil
Various historical myths are present about the derivation of mustard oil but the presence of mustard seeds to cure various diseases are in existence before the birth of Christ, specifically five centuries earlier than the Christian era. It is presumed that mustard seed had existence in countries like China and Africa long before Jesus was born.
The Modern Period of Mustard Oil
In the year 1720, mustard seed is used for the first time in cooking, as well as the concept that oil can be derived from the seed came into vicinity, though ancient ayurveda has mentioned about the usage of this oil long back. During eighteenth century mustard seed was consumed at a large scale in America. It is also believed that mustard was grown in the Indian subcontinent around 3000 B.C.E. Ancient Romans used to mix this unique seed to wine for its pungent flavour and remedial value.
The Scientific Side
Among forty species of mustard plants the most popular and widely used seeds are Brassica Nigra (black), Brassica Hirta (white) and Brassica juncea (brown). Mustard cultivation needs to be started in the month of March or April, during June the flowers can be seen and finally in the month of September the harvesting is done. One important thing to be remembered, that the seeds need to be yield before complete growing as the matured seeds cause tearing and dropping on its own. Today, mustard is largely cultivated in Canada, Montana and North region of Dakota.
The Process of Making Oil
Mustard oil is made from two different methods; firstly, fatty oil is derived by pressing the mustard seed and secondly essential oil is extracted from grinding the seeds. Afterwards both oils are purified and we get the consumer friendly one. The pungency comes from an activator present in the oil named allyl isothiocyanate. Mustard oil contains 60% monounsaturated fatty acid, 21% polyunsaturated fats and about 12% saturated fats.
Mustard oil is widely used in pickle seasoning as well as in cooking. It is a type of oil that goes with both vegetarian and non vegetarian cooking. The pungent smell of mustard oil gives warm, spicy and stinging essence to the cooking, especially for Indian and Bangladeshi cuisines. Though mustard seed is cultivated in Canada at a large scale and is used in American and Mexican cuisine too but there are specific Indian delectable items, which are incomplete without mustard oil.
Mustard oil is a vital part of Ayurveda; it was used for cleansing, stimulating and revitalizing the body during the ancient era, still it is popularly and extensively used in India, Bangladesh and few other Western countries. There are controversies regarding the effects of mustard oil for the benefit of heart but it is proved that massaging with this oil improves weight and length of infants as compared to infants with no massage. According to the mustard oil manufacturer in India, Saloni, it would be feasible to consult the doctor before choosing the right brand of mustard oil according to individual’s fitness requirement.