This section is from the book "Botanic Drugs Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics", by Thomas S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: Botanic Drugs, Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
White Mustard, Sinapis alba, is official in the U. S. and a few other countries. Japanese Mustard, S. cernua, is official in Japan. Black Mustard, S. nigra, is very generally official. It was formerly known as Brassica nigra in the U. S. P. The official Volatile Oil of Mustard is derived from this plant, the seeds being used. Rapeseed Oil is also derived from a species of brassica; it is a fixed oil not official in the U. S.
The cruciferae, of which mustard is the principal member, has other species of somewhat similar nature. Nasturtium officinale, Water Cress, a stimulating salad, promotes the appetite and is a mild antiscorbutic. Nasturtium armoracia, Horseradish, acts similarly but more intensely; it is employed as a counterirritant, and there was formerly a compound spirit of horseradish official in England. Capsella bursa-pastoris, or Thlaspi, Shepherd's Purse, yields an oil identical with that of mustard, and to this it adds astringent properties; it is of some value in passive hemorrhage and in hematuria, as well as in atonic dyspepsia. All of these agents are rather definitely diuretic, but are irritants in large doses.
Mustard and its volatile oil are our most valuable counterirritants; they act deeply without being destructive of tissue. In sufficient strength vesication is produced, but the lesion is painful and heals slowly; cantharides is superior as a vesicant.
Mustard is a valuable non-depressing emetic most effective in case of poisoning, as it is thorough in action and reflexly stimulates the heart and respiration. The ground mustard is given in considerable lukewarm water. The seeds, swallowed whole, are laxative. Mustard plasters are too well known to require discussion, their revulsant and counter-irritant action being ideal in many internal inflammations. The black mustard is used for external purposes and as an emetic; the white mustard is regarded as emmenagogue. Both are used as condiments. The oil should be employed with the utmost of care.
The emetic dose of ground mustard is one or two teaspoonfuls. The dose of the oil is 1-8 minim.
Thiosinamine, Rhodaline, is allyl sulphocar-bamide and is made from the volatile oil of mustard.
This agent is credited with the cure of lupus and with causing the absorption of exudates, lymphatic swellings, scar tissue, etc. It must be used for weeks, with massage and other adjuvant measures. There exists much difference of opinion regarding its value. Large doses are toxic, impairing respiration.
In stricture, corneal opacity, and chronic deafness, it is given by mouth; in lupus, cicatrices, and glandular tumors, it is injected hypodermatically. The dose is 1/2 to 1 1/2 grains, in capsules or tablet triturates; in subcutaneous injection, 1 to 5 grains in 15% alcoholic or 10% glycerinated water solution. The drug is not soluble in water and the other solutions produce local irritation.
Fibrolysin, solution thiosinamine sodium salicylate, is water-soluble and is not locally irritant. For local use this agent is superior to thiosinamine. It comes in sterilized vials, each containing one subcutaneous, intramuscular, or intravenous dose. One injection is administered daily, or every second or third day. A vial is equivalent to 3 grains thiosinamine.