Ozark Encyclopedia – M – Mustard

Mustard – Brassica

Parts used: seed

Traditional uses: “Irritant, stimulant, diuretic, emetic. Mustard is used in the form of poultices for external application near the seat of inward inflammation, chiefly in pneumonia, bronchitis and other diseases of the respiratory organs. It relieves congestion of various organs by drawing the blood to the surface, as in head affections, and is of service in the alleviation of neuralgia and other pains and spasms…Internally, Mustard is useful as a regular and mild aperient, being at the same time an alterative. If a tablespoonful of Mustard flour be added to a glass of tepid water, it operates briskly as a stimulating and sure emetic. In cases of hiccough, a teaspoonful of Mustard flour in a teacupful of boiling water is effective. The dose may be repeated in ten minutes if needed.” ~Grieve MH 

Mustard and camphor poultice for colds – “I know when I was a child I had pneumonia and my grandmother partly saved my life. She used mustard poultices on my chest. She mixed camphor with the mustard to keep it from burning. She opened the windows and gave plenty of air.” ~Carter and Krause HRIO

For burns – “It’s an old remedy where they put mustard on a burn and it’s good for it. I have an idea some old timer told my wife that. It burns first but it works.” ~ Carter and Krause HRIO

Poultice for colds – “Mustard plaster – raise mustard for greens – shell seeds and grind them up; put in vinegar, enough to mix up, put it on cloth and then apply it to affected area.” ~Parler FBA II 1808

Plaster on feet for colds – “A mustard plaster on the bottom of your feet is good for chest colds.” ~Parler FBA II 1811

Carter, Kay & Bonnie Krause Home Remedies of the Illinois Ozarks (HRIO)

Grieve, Margaret A Modern Herbal (MH)

Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

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