If you are an Indian, especially from the eastern part of the country, you simply can’t imagine cooking without mustard oil. It is one of the staple ingredients in our everyday cuisine and known for quite a few health benefits. But do you know that mustard oil can be potentially dangerous for us too? Well, let us tell you the 10 most common mustard oil side effects.
Mustard Oil Side Effects
The mouth watering fish curry cooked in mustard oil can lead to some side effects too! Check out the major side effects of mustard oil usage:
1. Contains Erucic Acid:
Several researches have proved that mustard oil contains a huge amount (approximately between 42% and 47%) of erucic acid. It is a bizarre fatty acid compound (monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid), which is known to be highly toxic in nature. Due to the presence of such copious amounts of erucic acid in mustard oil, it can pose serious health risks to us. Intake of high dosage of mustard oil is associated with cardiovascular issues, respiratory issues, diarrhea, anemia, cancer, coma and even death in the most severe cases.
[ Read: Side Effects Of Tea Tree Oil ]
2. Influences Heart Health:
The high level of eructic acid content of mustard oil can take a toll on the health of our heart and damage it significantly. It is mostly known for causing a certain medical condition known as ‘myocardial lipidosis’ or ‘fatty degeneration of heart’ in which fibrotic lesions develop in myocardial fibers or heart muscles due to the buildup of triglycerides or fat droplets in them. It damages the cardiac muscles badly and sometimes even leads to heart failure.
3. Increases Lung Cancer Risk:
Apart from increasing cardiovascular risks, eructic acid in mustard oil distresses our lungs too. At the initial stage, it can simply affect the upper part of our respiratory system (especially the respiratory tract), causing troubled breathing and so on. But the long-term intake of mustard oil can make us prone to lung cancer, which is absolutely fatal.
4. Leads To Dropsy:
In the year 1998, the use of mustard oil for cooking was banned by the Delhi Government in order to put a check on the rapidly increasing cases of dropsy. It is basically the most severe form of edema in which the soft tissues in the human body swell up to a great extent due to unusual fluid accumulation.
[ Read: Side Effects Of Peppermint Oil ]
5. Causes Irritation:
Mustard oil is known to contain another harmful chemical compound called allyl isothiocyanate. It is an extremely strong and powerful irritant which, when taken orally, can result in the inflammation of the linings of the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, intestines, etc. The irritating property of mustard oil can also cause problems like abnormal secretion of tears, increased sensitivity, and neuroexcitation.
6. Results In Skin Damages:
Long-term topical application of mustard oil can affect the skin in a number of ways. Studies have shown that it interrupts the skin barrier function and increases water loss through epidermis, altering the structure of epidermal keratinocytes considerably. It can even cause minor to major skin blisters. That is why modern medical science suggests avoiding the use of mustard oil for massaging infants and kids.
7. Gives External Eruptions:
External application of mustard oil can lead to certain eruptions on the skin too. These are similar to the rashes ‘pityriasis rosea’ and are benign in nature. However, if ignored, these eruptions can turn out to be the reason of substantial discomfort.
8.Can Lead To Allergic Reactions:
Allergic reactions are also common among the side effects of mustard oil. These are mainly immunoglobulin E or IgE-mediated allergies, such as redness, itchiness, dry and cracked skin, etc., and are not that severe.
9. Causes Rhinitis:
Excessive consumption of mustard oil can cause rhinitis in which the mucous membrane tends to get inflamed. It is characterized by coughing, sneezing, stuffy nose, watery nose and post-nasal drip. Hence it is better to reduce its consumption to get rid of this one of the strange mustard oil side effects.
10. Affects Pregnancy:
Pregnant women should avoid consumption of mustard oil as it contains a few chemical compounds that are harmful for them as well as the growing fetus. As per the researchers, these chemicals can result in miscarriage.
Giving up something that is not just a part of one’s daily food, but is also a traditional and cultural symbol is not easy. Don’t worry, you don’t need to chuck out all that mustard oil either. But you can limit its consumption to prevent these side effects. Health matters, after all!
Do you know any other mustard oil side effects? Let us know by commenting below if you know any other mustard oil cooking side effects.
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Nilankeeta Roy Chowdhury
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