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5 More Things To Do with Mustard

Put mustard to work to help ease your headaches, stuffy nose and other common ailments.

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Scientists have known for a long time that mustard’s pungent heat thins mucus and makes it easier to breathe when you have a cold or flu, but this versatile kitchen condiment has turned out to be more than just a feelgood remedy. Here are five handy ways to make mustard work for you:

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1. Unstuff Your Nose

A close relative of broccoli and cabbage, mustard contains a variety of chemical compounds with impressive healing credentials. Let’s begin with mustard’s role as an expectorant. When your nose is so blocked up that you can hardly breathe, a dollop of mustard – on a hot dog, for example – delivers a hefty dose of myrosin and sinigrin, chemicals that make mucus watery and easier to expel from the body.

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2. Stomp Out Athlete’s Foot

A bit of mustard powder added to a footbath can help to kill athlete’s foot fungus.

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3. Beat Back Pain

Herbalists call mustard a rubefacient, which means that it stimulates soothing warmth when applied to the skin. Like cayenne pepper, it also appears to deplete nerve cells of substance P, a chemical that transmits pain signals from the back to the brain. To use mustard for pain, either mix up a mustard plaster or soak a cloth in a strong mustard infusion made by pouring a cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoon of ground mustard seed and infusing for 5 minutes. Apply this compress to the sore area.

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4. Solve Common Aches and Pains

Soaking your feet in hot water with a little mustard powder added can accomplish a number of goals. It can unblock a head cold, help to reduce a fever and soothe a headache. Drawing blood to the feet helps to disperse congestion, increases circulation and eases pressure on the blood vessels in your head.

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5. Stimulate Your Appetite

Adding mustard to your food increases the flow of saliva and digestive juices – natural ways to stimulate appetite when you’ve been under the weather and aren’t eating as well as you should be.

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