Mustard. The seeds of Sinapis Nigra and Sinapis Alba. Nat. Ord. CruciferAe. Linn. Syst. Tetra-dynamia Siliquosa. Source, various parts of Europe.
Med. Prop. and Action. Mustard, in small doses, is stimulant; it improves the tone of the digestive organs, promotes the digestibility of many articles of food, and increases the appetite. Under its continued use, the secretion of urine becomes greatly augmented. In doses of from one to three teaspoon-fuls it is emetic, effectually clearing out the stomach, without producing any great amount of subsequent depression. Externally applied in the form of poultice, it is irritant, and if left in contact with the skin for a long period, causes vesication (see Sinapisms). The activity of Black Mustard depends upon an acrid volatile oil, which does not exist in the seed, but is formed by the action of a peculiar albuminous substance, Myrosine, on an acid named Myronic Acid, both of which are contained in the seed, the latter in combination with Potash. Alcohol, Vinegar, and too hot water interfere with the production of the volatile oil, and therefore should not be used in the preparation of mustard poultices. White Mustard contains a crystallizable compound, Sulphotinapisin, which gives rise to an acrid principle. Both kinds contain from twenty-five to thirty-five per cent. of a fixed oil. (Garrod.*) Flour of Mustard, as usually met with, is composed of two parts of black and three of the white seed, with a portion of wheat flour and turmeric. It is an effectual and ready emetic in narcotic poisoning.
Offic. Prep. Cataplasma Sinapis (Mustard in powder oz. iiss.; Linseed Meal oz. iiss.; Boiling Water fl. oz. x. Mix gradually the Linseed Meal with the Water, and add the Mustard, constantly stirring. The Linseed Meal is mixed first with the Water, in order that the latter may have somewhat cooled before the addition of the mustard).
In Ebrietas, Paralysis, Epilepsy, and in Apoplexy from over-distension of the stomach, and, indeed, in all cases when it is desirable to produce full emesis, with little expense to the strength or depression of the vital powers, the flour of Mustard, in doses of a tablespoonful or less, is a speedy and efficacious remedy. In Cholera, it was formerly employed as an emetic, but the selection of this remedy is injudicious; as an emetic, Ipecacuanha is preferable.
2505. In Dyspepsia, and in the torpid state of the bowels which accompanies Paralysis, white Mustard seeds, to the amount of two or three teaspoonfuls, two or three times a day, have been advised, but their utility is doubtful.
2506. In Dropsical Affections, Mustard, from its diuretic and stimulant quality, occasionally proves useful. It is best administered in the form of whey, made by boiling oz. ss. of the bruised seeds in Oj. of milk, and straining. This quantity may be taken daily in divided doses.
Ashwell states that he has often 6een the Mustard hip-bath useful, the patient remaining in it for an hour each time. Pulv. Sinapis, in doses of gr. viij. - xij., repeated three or four times a day, just prior to the proper menstrual period, is stated to be often attended with good effect.
* Ess. Mat. Med. and Therap., p. 163.
On Diseases peculiar to Women, p. 109, et seq.