Mustard Oil, Ointment and Poultice for Muscles, Joints and Chest , Infections
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Richard
Posted on: November 02, 2004

You may be able to help me with finding the formula for ‘mustard ointment’. About ten years ago, I could buy it here in Australia. Now, it seems to be unheard of. I don’t want to import it from the States. I’ll make my own or get a chemist to make it up here, if I can find out what are the ingredients; although they don’t offer to do this service here anymore.

It’s no fun for them anymore and there are newer rubefacients on the market which they can sell.

I have seen a jar of it on the on the internet to be sold as a collector’s item but I am straining to see the names of the ingredients on the jar.

Can you find out please?

Mustard has been used traditionally as rubefacient, i.e. an external agent that stimulates the blood circulation to the area to which it is applied, relieving pain in muscles and joints. It causes mild irritation to the skin.

Thomas Bartram, in "Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine", describes the preparation of mustard oil for external use on cold arthritic joints: "1 part mustard powder or seeds gently simmered in 20 oz vegetable oil half hour. Strain. Bottle". "1 part mustard" would be one ounce of mustard.

You can make an ointment from the resulting oil by gently melting 2-1/4 ounces of sliced or slivered beeswax to the strained mustard oil.

A mustard poultice can be applied to the affected area, whether it be a sore muscle or joint, or a chest infection: mix 4 ounces (100 grams) mustard powder with warm water to form a thick paste. Spread the paste on a cotton cloth that is the size of the area to be covered. Lay a piece of moist cotton gauze on the skin, and apply the cotton cloth, mustard paste down, on the gauze. Remove after about one minute. The skin should be pink, but not burnt. Wipe the area with olive oil to remove all traces of mustard.

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