Know All About Mustard Oil: Health Benefits, Nutrition, Uses & Side Effects

By Dr Prachi Garg +2 more

Mustard oil is versatile and used in many parts of the world. It is popularly known as Sarson ka Tel in India and is a key ingredient found in every kitchen. Mustard oil has a strong flavour and enhances the taste of several dishes. Not only that, it also has numerous health benefits.

But with the scare of cholesterol and an upswing in heart diseases, many people have now become wary of the kind and quality of oil that they consume on a daily basis. This has lead to a widespread increase in the sale of healthy oils such as Olive oil, Sunflower oil, Rice Bran oil and Grapeseed oil, to name a few.

mustard oil benefits

It is also worth noting that mustard is good for diabetes, owing to its anti-inflammatory properties. So, it is considered as one of the ideal oils that can be used in recipes for diabetes.  

Mustard Oil Nutrition

Mustard oil has about 60% monounsaturated fatty acids(MUFA)(42% erucic acid and 12% oleic acid); it has about 21% polyunsaturated fats(PUFA) (6% the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid(ALA) and 15% omega-6 linoleic acid(LA)) and it has about 12% saturated fats.

This optimum ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and low content of saturated fats makes mustard oil more beneficial and preferred over several other oils available in the market.

Mustard oil is reddish-brown or amber in colour and is known for its strong smell and pungent sharp flavour. The pungency of mustard oil is due to the presence of allyl isothiocyanate. This fatty vegetable oil is obtained by pressing mustard seeds.

For now, let’s understand Mustard Oil and its benefits in detail.

Health Benefits of Mustard Oil Are

In my experience, I have found that mustard oil has been traditionally used as a rubefacient and irritant due to its topical irritant effects. When applied to the skin, mustard oil can cause a warming sensation and increased blood flow to the area, which may help alleviate pain.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

1. Cardioprotective Effects

Mustard oil is healthy edible oil it is low in Saturated fatty acid (SFA), high in MUFA and PUFA, especially alpha-linolenic acid and has a good LA: ALA ratio (6:5).

In Myocardial Infarct(MI) patients using mustard oil, there was a reduction in arrhythmias, heart failure and angina. Thus, mustard oil is considered a healthy choice for patients with cardiovascular disorders.


N6 (linolenic acid) and N3 (alpha-linolenic acid) are essential fatty acids that proved to be beneficial for the body. N6 PUFA lowers LDL cholesterol but can also decrease HDL, whereas N3 PUFA may lower triglycerides, blood pressure, inflammation, improve vascular function and sudden death.

2. Reduces Cough, Colds

Since ancient times, mustard oil is used to soothe colds, coughs and other respiratory illnesses and allergies.

Inhaling steam containing mustard oil has shown to clear respiratory congestion. Also, a concoction made by heating mustard oil, few cloves of garlic and 1 teaspoon of ajwain, when massaged on our feet and chest provides relief from cold and cough.

Mustard oil may also show positive effects in patients suffering from sinusitis.

3. Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal & Anti-carcinogenic Properties

Glucosinolate, available in mustard oil which accounts for antibiotic, fungicidal and cancer prevention qualities, serves as a therapeutic for human health. It thus protects us from colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers.

Ally Isothiocyanate serves as an anti-fungal agent, which protects food from fungal growth and reduces infection.


Also Read: 9 Home Remedies for Fungal Infection.

4. Strengthens Red Blood Cells

Mustard oil is a major source of all fats required by our body to perform diverse biological functions as components of plasma, cell lipids and cell membrane.

Mustard oil reduces cholesterol and improves the membrane structure of red blood cells (RBC). Read more about the simple ways to reduce cholesterol.

5. Acts as a Stimulant:

Mustard oil is a natural stimulant that is known to stimulate our sweat glands, thereby improving blood circulation throughout the body. It also helps to lower body temperature and remove toxins from the body.

By increasing blood circulation in the entire body, also relieves and rejuvenates stressed and overworked muscles.

6. Relief from Joint Pain & Arthritis:

A regular massage with mustard oil helps in relieving aching joints and muscles. Arthritis patients also experience relief and comfort after a massage with mustard oil, thanks to the presence of Omega-3 fatty acids that help to ease stiffness and pain caused due to arthritis.

Read More: Food For Arthritis to Eat & Avoid.

7. Immunity Booster:

The composition of mustard oil is based on our body requirement. This oil having <7% saturated fat, high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids ranges from 3.6-32.2%. It also contains a considerable amount of linoleic (18:2) and linolenic acids (18:3).


The optimum range of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E provides the required nutritive value and boosts our immune system.

8. Reduces Diabetic Hazards:

In my practice, I have observed that mustard oil might have analgesic properties. Studies have shown that mustard oil can stimulate certain receptors in the body, which may contribute to pain relief.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

The amount of vitamin E in the alpha-tocopherol present in mustard oil has beneficial effects to control diabetic hazards.

9. Boosts Appetite  

Mustard oil is extremely useful and can be consumed by people who are underweight. It makes you want to eat more by pumping your stomach and facilitates the secretion of gastric juices and bile which is known to create the feeling of hunger.

10. May slow the growth of cancer cells  

Based on my experience, mustard oil might have the ability to stimulate sweat glands and potentially contribute towards lowering the body temperature. This effect could be attributed to the active compounds present in mustard oil that interact with the body’s thermoregulatory system, promoting sweating and subsequent heat dissipation.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Research suggests that mustard oil may also help in slowing down the growth and spread of certain types of cancer cells in your body.


Trans fat is the major cause of insulin failure and high oxidation of fat.  The absence of trans fat in mustard oil thus helps maintain insulin levels, which in turn regulates our blood sugar levels.

Other Uses Of Mustard Oil

  • Effective Massage Oil

Massage in infancy with mustard oil improves growth and post-massage sleep.

Massage with mustard oil improves the weight, length and midarm and midleg circumferences as compared to infants without massage.

  • Promotes Oral Health

Mustard oil helps strengthen your gums and makes it easier to remove the plaque. Plaque is generally formed due to bacteria that are surrounded by fatty membranes. Swishing mustard oil in our mouth can help loosen the fat-soluble bacteria and further avoid gum bleeding.

  • Amazing Hair

Mustard oil contains alpha fatty acids that keep our hair hydrated, lively and help them to grow faster. Mustard oil is also a rich source of antioxidants, minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium and vitamins like A, D, E and K, all of which are important for hair growth.

The anti-fungal properties of mustard oil also prevent the development of fungus and dandruff in our scalp. Read more about home remedies for dandruff.


  • Good for Our Skin

Mustard oil is rich in vitamin B complex, vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. This reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps to remove tan from the skin. Mustard oil also works wonders if you have chapped lips.

The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of this oil prevent the development of acne and keep our skin clean and glowy.

Read More: 7 Home Remedies for Glowing Skin.

  • Used as a Mosquito Repellent

The pungent and strong smell of mustard oil makes it a natural mosquito repellent. Rub a few drops of mustard oil on the skin and drive mosquitoes away.

Did You Know?

  • Mustard oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Mustard oil is a good source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Mustard oil has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Mustard oil has been used in traditional medicine to relieve joint pain and inflammation. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Mustard oil has a high smoke point, making it suitable for cooking at high temperatures. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov

How to use mustard oil for various benefits?

  1. Mustard oil can be used for cooking and frying food. In this way, it boosts immunity and is good for our heart and diabetics.
  2. It acts as a preservative when added to pickles and chutneys.
  3. To clear our respiratory system from congestion, inhale steam containing mustard oil.
  4. Massage our feet and chest with a mixture of mustard oil, garlic and ajwain to get relief from cold and cough.
  5. Consuming a teaspoon of mustard oil and honey helps in various respiratory problems.
  6. Using mustard oil for oil pulling kills bacteria and prevents bleeding of gums.
  7. Rubbing a paste of mustard oil, turmeric and salt on our teeth and gums; makes them healthy.
  8. A mixture of mustard oil and coconut oil can be used to massage our entire body.

Side Effects of Using Mustard Oil

  • Mustard oil contains Erucic acid. As per research in the United States, Erucic acid has toxic effects on the heart at high enough doses. Consumption of mustard oil is thereby banned in the U.S.A.
  • Long-term topical application of mustard oil can have harmful effects on the skin. It can even cause minor to major skin blisters.
  • Excessive consumption of mustard oil can cause rhinitis in which the mucous membrane tends to get inflamed.
  • Pregnant women should avoid the consumption of mustard oil as it contains a few chemical compounds that are harmful to them as well as the growing foetus.

Mustard Oil is Commonly Known by a Variety of Names Like:

  • Sarson ka tel in Hindi
  • Sarsay tel in Bengali
  • Kadugu   Ennai in Tamil
  • Avanune in Telugu
  • Rainu tel in Gujarati
  • Mohariche tel in Marathi
  • Kadugenna in Malyalam
  • Sorisha tela in Oriya

Also Read: 15 Amazing Health Benefits of Ghee.


Mustard Oil vs Refined Sunflower Oil

Mustard and sunflower oil are the two most used oils in India. The consumerist-oriented market has spoiled people with choices, with avocado, groundnut, olive oil running the race as well. With being the two most popular cooking oils, the debate on which ranks higher in benefits has been going on for a long time.  

Mustard oil, derived from mustard seeds, is dark yellow and has a pungent odour. Mustard oil is widely used as cooking oil in major Indian households, as it has the benefits of not accumulating in the blood vessels. It contains healthy fats like omega 3 and 6 along with helping reduce cholesterol levels. Mustard oil for hair oiling has been used for centuries. Consumption of mustard oil is recommended to be done in moderate limits, as it contains considerable amounts of erucic acids. Too much mustard oil can cause anaemia or diarrhoea.

On the other hand, refined sunflower oil is a chemically-treated oil that has been made to look clearer by removing impurities, contaminants and odour. Not many benefits of refined oil besides the fact that it is made to cater to the customers’ needs like refined oil for heart patients. The harmful effects of refined oil are based on the fact that it is chemically treated. The process of refining involves nickel, in addition to sodium hydroxide and preservatives which is harmful to the digestive system in the long run.

Foods to Avoid Before Bed

  • Food high in sugar or salt content, like chocolate, cheese and snacks with high sodium should be avoided.
  • Oily fast food, deep-fried foods and crisps are best to be avoided before bed.
  • Ice cream and anything too cold should be avoided before bed so that sensitivity does not get triggered.
  • Fruits like cherries and bananas, fruits with high water content and fruits with high natural sugars should also be avoided before bed.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.



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rabeya rahman

Excellent Presentation by a dedicated researcher

Ashir Sahal

Thank you, glad you liked it.

Vijay Thakur

Quite a research and great presentation.

Ashir Sahal

Thank you, glad you liked it.