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.
• Nutrient analysis of mustard seeds per 100 g yielded: (1) Principle: energy 508 Kcal, carbohydrate 28.09 g, protein 26.08 g, total fat 36.24 g, cholesterol 0, dietary fiber 12.2 g; (2) Vitamins: folates 162 µg, niacin 4.733 mg, pantothenic acid 0.810 mg, pyridoxine 0.397 mg, riboflavin 0.261 mg, thiamine 0.805 mg, vitamin A 31 IU, vitamin C 7.1 mg, vitamin E? 19.82 mg, vitamin K 5.4 µg; (3) Electrolytes: sodium13 mg, potassium 738 mg; (4) Minerals: calcium 266 mg, copper 0.645 mg, iron 9.21 mg, magnesium 370 mg, manganese 2.448 mg, selenium 208.1 µg, zinc 6.08 mg; and (5) Phytonutrients: carotene-ß, crypto-xanthin-ß, lutein-zeaxanthine 508 µg. (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base) (15)
• Phytochemical profiling of leaves yielded 51 compounds (chloroform), 48 (EA), 40 (methanol), 33 (PE), and 28 (n-hexane). Major compounds were benzenepropanoic acid,, 3,5-bis (11,1-dimethylethyl)-
4-hhydroxy-, methyl ester (22.98%, in methanol), n-eicosane (26.69%, in ethyl acetate), n-pentacosane (50% in chloroform) and n-tetratetracontane (42.47 and49.19% in PE and n-hexane, respectively). (27)
• Brassica juncea leaves yielded ß-sitosterol and essential fatty acids linoleic acid and a-linoleic acid. Leaves also yielced trilinolenin, lutein, and ß-carotene.(30)
• Phytochemical screening of seeds yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, terpenoids, and phenolic compounds. (see study below) (31)
• 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; also used in soups and stews.
- 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 Bhutan, aerial parts used as spasmolytic and for treatment of food poisoning, heart and blood disorders. (23).
- In Nepal, seed oil rubbed for body aches.
- In Bangladesh, oil is rubbed on the throat and chest for treatment of common colds with mucus.
- In Java, used as antisyphilitic emmenagogue.
- In China, leaves in soup for bladder, inflammation and hemorrhage.
- In India, leaves used for diabetes. Plant used as anthelmintic, and in treament of alopecia, epilepsy, snakebites, hiccups, and toothache.
- In Maharashtra, India, a paste of alum (white mineral sal) and Brassica seeds eaten along with banana twice daily for the treatment of jaundice.
• 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. (2)
• Anti-Diabetes Benefit / Seeds: 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. (3) Study of an aqueous extract of seed showed potent hypoglycemic effect on STZ induced diabetic male albino rats. (17)
• Hypoglycemic / Antihyperglycemic Effect: Study showed the B juncea diet showed significant antihyperglycemic effect in alloxan but not in STZ rats. (4)
• 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. (5)
• Wound Healing: Study evaluated leaf extracts for wound healing activity in excision wound model in albino rats. An aqueous extract showed 94.94% maximum percentage of healing compared to control. (7)
• Phytoremediation / Copper Contaminated Soil: Study evaluated the efficacy of copper removal from the soil by Brassica juncea and Bidens alba. The copper removal efficiency of B. juncea (L.) Czern was 11 times greater than Bidens alba DC var radiata. (8)
• Phytoremediation / Municipal Solid Waste: Study showed highly promising potential for removal of Pb, Zn, Ni, and Cu by phytoextraction through Brassica juncea. B. juncea is a potential species for phytoremediation of MSW through management and regulation of leaching of toxic elements into soil and ground waters. The plant growth also stimulates the microbial community, degrading contaminants in the soil or making them available to rhizosphere. (9)
• Anti-Hyperglycemic / Antinociceptive: Study of a methanol extract of leaves showed significant and dose-dependent antinociceptive activity in acetic-acid induced gastric pain writhing model in mice. In oral glucose tolerance tests, the extract also demonstrated significant and dose-dependent glucose lowering activity. (10)
• Anthelmintic / Seeds: Comparative study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of seeds of B. juncea and flowers of B. oleracea against Pheretima posthuma, using Albendazole as standard. Results confirmed the anthelmintic activity of both plants, with Brassica juncea showing more efficient activity. (11)
• Phytoremediation / Cadmium: Study showed the suitability of B. juncea for removing Cd from the soil. (13)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Toxicity Study: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of PE and ethanolic extracts of B. juncea against carrageenan induced paw edema. Acute toxicity study up to 2 gm/kg p.o. did not show mortality or behavioral changes. Both extracts exhibited anti-inflammatory activity, with the ethanolic extract showing better activity than the petroleum ether extract. (14)
• Antioxidant / Anti-Cancer / Seeds and Sprouts: Study evaluated extracts of Brassica juncea for hydroxyl radical scavenging activity and in vitro cytotoxicity activity against rat cancer cell line and three different human cell lines. Results showed effective scavenging of hydroxyl radicals and induction of cancer cell death by apoptosis. Seed extracts were more effective than sprout extracts. (16)
• Hepatoprotective / Anti-Cancer / Seeds and Sprouts: Study evaluated the effects of Brassica juncea leaf extracts on carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity in Wistar albino rats. Among extracts tested, ethanolic and pet ether extracts showed maximum inhibition of necrosis and reduction of liver enzyme parameters with a significant p<0.0001. (18)
• Genoprotective / Mercury-Induced Genotoxicity: Study evaluated the antigenotoxic effects of various concentrations of B. juncea chloroform seed extracts on mercury-induced genotoxic effects in root cells of Allium cepa. Results showed antigenotoxic potential in a dose dependent manner. (19)
• Antinociceptive / Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Study evaluated the effect of B. juncea on peripheral neuropathic pain in diabetic rats. Results showed decreased pain threshold and also significant decrease in diabetic induced hyperglycemia. Results suggest a therapeutic option for treatment of hyperalgesia associated with diabetic neuropathy. (20)
• Antidepressant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidepressant activity of methanol extract of B. juncea leaves in alloxan induced diabetic and non-diabetic rodents. Antidepressant and motor functioning depressing effects were observed. Compensations of monoaminergic deficits by the extracts in diabetic animals could be involved in the observed behavioral effects. (21)
• Mustard Allergy / Double-Blind Placebo Controlled Challenge: A double-blind placebo-controlled study evaluated 30 patients presenting with positive prick tests to ground mustard seeds/ About 23% of sensitized subjects were allergic to routine dose of mustard. Positive prick tests and the presence of specific IgE were not predictive. Single-blind (SB) or double-blind (DB) placebo controlled food challenge (PCFC) trials is required before recommending avoidance diets. (22)
• Antibacterial in Different Food Model Systems: Aqueous extracts of B. officinalis and B juncea showed various degrees of inhibitory activity especially towards staphylococci and enterobacteria; B. juncea showed higher inhibitory activity than B. officinalis. (24)
• Toxicity / Seeds: Study investigated the possible toxicity of mustard seeds on brain and kidney tissue in albino wistar rats. Ethanol extract of mustard seeds were orally administered for two weeks at doses of 2000 mg/kg and 4000 mg/kg body weight. Results showed histological effects and altered histoarchitecture of the brain and kidney of tests groups. Results suggest prolonged ingestion of the extract if toxic to tissues at the concentrations investigated. It was inferred that these doses could also be toxic in humans. (25)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Seeds: Study investigated a methanolic extract of seeds for anti-inflammatory activity against carrageenan induced paw edema in a rat model. At a dose of 1000 mg/kbw, the extract showed significant activity showing 65.98% reduction in paw volume comparable (p<0.05) to that by standard drug indomethacin. (26)
• Antihyperlipidemia / Seeds: Study evaluated the antihyperlipidemic potential of B. juncea seeds in cholesterol-fed rabbits. B. juncea seeds consumption showed lipid lowering effect with potential cardioprotection and benefit against atherogenesis. (28)
• Cognitive Benefits: Study evaluated the potential of methanol extract of leaves for treatment of cognitive disorders associated with diabetes or central cognitive dysfunctions in alloxan diabetic or scopolamine-challenged rats using elevated plus-maze and active- and passive avoidance tests. All treatments of BJ dose-dependently decreased the elevated level of AChE, and significantly increased the SOD and CAT levels in brain homogenates of scopolamine-challenged and diabetic rats. (29)
• Anticonvulsant / Toxicity Study / Seeds: Study investigated the anticonvulsant activity of seed extract of Brassica juncea against PTZ-induced seizures in mice. The extract significantly delayed the latency of convulsion (p<0.05) induced by PTZ and reduced the frequency of convulsions with 100% protection at 500 mg/kg p.o. against death. Acute oral toxicity study showed safety and no toxicity up to 5000 mg/kbw. (see constituents above) (31)
- Commercial cultivation.