Mustard Oil is widely used in northern and western Indian cuisines. It lends a strong aroma to the food and adds the right amount of savouriness. Also called “Sarson Ka Tel” in Hindi and “Aava Noone” in Telugu, this pungent oil offers numerous health benefits. However, not many know of mustard oil’s side effects on our body, skin and hair. Mustard oil has large amounts of Erucic acid, which can be toxic to our body and cause serious complications. There are many other disadvantages of mustard oil, which will be discussed in this article in detail.
Side Effects Of Mustard Oil:
Let’s look at some of the main side effects of overconsuming mustard oil:
1. Erucic Acid:
Erucic Acid is a mono-saturated omega-9 fatty acid. Mustard oil consists of 42 % of it. When consumed in high doses, it shows an effect on the heart. These effects can be toxic at times. This acid causes a high risk to human health like cardiovascular issues, respiratory issues, diarrhea, anaemia, cancer and death in severe cases.
2. Deteriorated Heart Health:
Distorted heart health is one of the major mustard oil cooking side effects. Our heart cannot take mono-saturated fatty acids. The fatty acids present in the mustard oil causes ‘Myocardial lipidosis’, which is the fatty degeneration of the heart. It develops fibrotic lesions in the myocardial fibers of the heart. It is due to the build-up of triglycerides in them. It may lead to heart failure at times due to degeneration of heart muscles.
Read: Homemade Mustard Oil
3. Risk Of Lung Cancer:
The Erucic acid in mustard oil causes distress in the respiratory system. This can lead to damage and collapse of the lung and respiratory track. The result will be breathlessness, heaviness in breathing, oxygen saturation issues and serious health complications like Lung Cancer.
4. Allergic Reactions:
Mustard oil has one more harmful chemical compound. It is called allyl isothiocyanate. This causes inflammation of the lungs, intestine and gastrointestinal tract. This leads to abnormal secretion of tears, the sensitivity of the stomach and increased neuroexcitation.
5. Leads to Dropsy:
Dropsy is a severe form of Edema. It causes swelling of soft tissues, which leads to a lot of fluid accumulation. This severe condition is caused by Erucic acid, which is found in large amounts in mustard oil. You will notice abnormally swollen legs and feet, which can lead to difficulty in walking.
6. May Damage Skin:
Mustard oil is many times used for massages. It is said to reduce muscle pain and also hydrate skin. However, mustard oil can interrupt the skin barrier function and causes excess water loss through the epidermis. This is can lead to an altered structure of epidermal keratinocytes considerably. If you are allergic to mustard, you may also develop rashes, itchiness and other skin problems.
7. Eruptions On Skin:
Prolonged use of mustard oil causes eruption on the skin. It is similar to ‘Pityriasis Rosea’ rashes. This rash is benign in nature but can cause great discomfort. If you notice any such symptoms, discontinue the oil immediately and apply an ice pack for instant relief. Visit the doctor for consultation.
8. Rashes and Redness:
Mustard oil is known for causing an allergic reaction on application. This immunoglobulin E reaction can lead to redness of the skin. Irritation and discomfort are also seen on the skin. This is the reason many doctors don’t recommend massaging infants and kids with mustard oil. In case of irritation, it is better to consult the doctor.
Mustard oil causes the mucous membrane to swell. It causes inflation which leads to sneezing, watery nose, post nasal drip and stuffy nose. It is not advised to use if such conditions prevail. The discomfort caused by it can be very annoying, especially when you have to go out.
10. Unsafe For Pregnant Women:
The high amounts of Erucic acid present in mustard oil are deemed to be unsafe for pregnant women. This compound can interfere with the growth of the foetus and may cause certain birth defects. Especially adulterated and unregulated mustard oil is extremely dangerous for expectant and lactating mothers.
11. May Lead To Hair Loss:
Although mustard oil is generally considered to be good for hair, it can cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive scalps. Mustard oil can irritate the scalp skin and can disrupt hair functions. Hair loss, Itchy scalp or receding hairline are some of the disadvantages of mustard oil for hair. It is always advised to dilute mustard oil with coconut oil to reduce the potency.
Read: Uses of Mustard Powder
In many parts of India, it is a nightmare to imagine food not prepared with mustard oil. It is undoubtedly one of the best agents for cooking for providing the optimal heat and taste to the dish. However, the mustard oil side effects are lesser known to the majority of the population, who at some point may experience these health issues. If you notice any of the symptoms discussed above, they could be due to your mustard oil!