Mustard Facts

Mustard Facts
Mustard plant is herbaceous plant that belongs to the cabbage family. It originates from Europe, Asia, Mediterranean region and Himalayas. Cultivation of mustard plant started 3.000 years BC in India. There are around 40 types of mustard plants. White, black and brown varieties of mustard plant are the best known and most commonly used today. Mustard plant grows in colder climates, on the moist ground in areas that provide enough sun. Besides being one of the most popular condiments in the world, mustard plant is used in treatment of numerous disorders in traditional medicine.
Interesting Mustard Facts:
Mustard plant grows in the form of shrub. Stem can be smooth or hairy, with one or more branches and it usually grows from 2 to 6 feet in height.
Mustard plant has smooth, pinnate or lobed, green leaves with serrated edges.
Mustard plant develops yellow flowers from June to July. Flowers are bisexual (they contain both types of reproductive organs) and filled with nectar which attracts insects, main pollinators of this plant.
Fruit of mustard plant is hairy pod filled with miniature white, creamy, light brown or black seed (depending on the variety).
Mustard seed are rich source of dietary fibers, vitamins A and C and minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, selenium and magnesium.
Ground mustard seed can be used as spice. Most commonly, people consume paste made of crushed mustard seed mixed with water, vinegar, wine, spices and flavoring agents, called prepared mustard.
Young leaves of mustard plant can be consumed fresh (in the form of salad) or as ingredient of dishes made of pork, and various stews and soups.
Each year, 700 million pounds of mustard are consumed worldwide. Americans consume the greatest amount of mustard in the world: 12 ounces per person per year.
Canada is the greatest manufacturer of mustard seed in the world. It produces 50% of globally consumed mustard seed.
Edible paste made of mustard seed and juice of unripe wine was popular among old Sumerians. Ancient Romans grinded fresh mustard seed on the meal or consumed it mixed with wine.
Ancient Greeks were using paste made of mustard in treatment of toothache, poor blood circulation and lack of appetite.
Mustard plant is used in treatment of asthma, rheumatism, high blood pressure and migraine today. Some medical studies indicate that mustard has potential to treat cancer and to prevent stroke and heart attacks.
People in India and Denmark believe that spreading of mustard seed along the edges of the house keeps evil spirits on the safe distance.
Mustard Museum in Wisconsin is the only museum in the world that is dedicated entirely to the mustard plant. Visitors of museum can see 5.000 jars of mustard that originate from 60 different countries and 50 states.
Mustard is an annual plant (life span: one year).

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