Black Mustard

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What other names is Black Mustard known by?

Black Moutarde, Black Mustard Greens, Black Mustard Oil, Black Mustard Paste, Black Mustard Plaster, Black Mustard Powder, Black Mustard Seed, Brassica nigra, Graine de Moutarde Noire, Huile de Moutarde Noire, Mostaza Negra, Moutarde, Moutarde Noire, Moutarde Sauvage, Mustard, Pâte de Moutarde Noire, Plâtre de Moutarde Noire, Sénevé, Sénevé Noir, Sarshap, Sinapis nigra.

What is Black Mustard?

Black mustard is a plant. The seed and oil from the seed are used to make medicine.

Black mustard oil is used for the common cold, painful joints and muscles (rheumatism), and arthritis.

Black mustard seed is used for causing vomiting, relieving water retention (edema) by increasing urine production, and increasing appetite.

Some people make a paste by mixing ground black mustard seed with warm water. They pack the paste in cloth and apply the cloth directly to the skin as a "mustard plaster." This preparation is used for treating pneumonia, pain and swelling (inflammation) of the lining of the lungs (pleurisy), arthritis, lower back pain (lumbago), and aching feet.

In foods, black mustard leaves (greens) are used in salads and other dishes.

Also in foods, black mustard seed is used as a spice and to flavor mustard condiment. There are approximately 40 different species of mustard plant. Three different types are generally used to make the mustard condiment. Black mustard (Brassica nigra) is the most pungent. White mustard (Brassica alba) is the most mild and is used to make traditional American yellow mustard. Brown mustard (Brassica juncea) is dark yellow, has a pungent taste, and is used to make Dijon mustard. It is easier to harvest the brown mustard seed than the black mustard seed, so many mustard condiments now contain brown mustard seed instead of black mustard seed.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Common cold.
  • Painful joints and muscles (rheumatism).
  • Arthritis.
  • Water retention (edema).
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Causing vomiting.
  • Pneumonia and painful lung conditions, when applied to the affected area as a "mustard plaster".
  • Aching feet, when applied to the affected area as a "mustard plaster".
  • Lower back pain, when applied to the affected area as a "mustard plaster".
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of black mustard for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Black Mustard work?

There is not enough information available to know how black mustard might work for medical conditions. Black mustard contains chemicals that might initially reduce pain when applied to the skin. But contact with the skin for too long might cause skin irritation and burning.

Are there safety concerns?

Black mustard is LIKELY SAFE when eaten as part of a food such as mustard. But there is not enough information to know if it is safe to use black mustard as a medicine that is taken by mouth or applied to the skin.

Some side effects are known. Taking large amounts of black mustard seed by mouth can damage the throat and can also cause other serious side effects including heart failure, diarrhea, drowsiness, breathing difficulties, coma, and death. When applied to the skin, especially for a long time, black mustard can cause skin blisters and skin damage.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use black mustard in medicinal amounts if you are pregnant. Black mustard contains chemicals that might start your menstrual period and cause a miscarriage.

It's also best to avoid using black mustard as a medicine if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about the effects it might have on you or your nursing baby.

Diabetes: Black mustard might lower blood sugar levels when taken as a medicine. If you have diabetes and take medications to lower your blood sugar, adding black mustard might make your blood sugar drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar carefully.

Surgery: There is a concern that black mustard might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery when taken as a medicine. Stop using bitter melon at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Black mustard might lower blood sugar levels when taken as a medicine. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking black mustard along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Dosing considerations for Black Mustard.

The appropriate dose of black mustard for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for black mustard. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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