Mustard seeds uses & benefits, Black mustard or yellow mustard which is best?

Mustard seeds uses & benefits, Black mustard or yellow mustard which is best?

There are approximately 40 different varieties of mustard seeds, primarily valued for their aroma and exotic flavor, making them a staple in Indian cuisine.

Mustard seeds have been used in recipes dating back 5000 years, often recommended as an appetizer. The scientific name for brown mustard is Brassica juncea, a member of the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae family. Commonly known as Indian mustard, oriental mustard, or sarson, this versatile plant has a rich history of use.

In ancient Greece, mustard was employed as a remedy for snake and scorpion bites. Meanwhile, in India and China, the leaves, seeds, and seed oil of mustard have been utilized for various medicinal purposes. Let’s explore some of the medicinal benefits of mustard seeds.

Difference between Rai (Black mustard) and Sarso (yellow mustard) seeds?

The key difference between black mustard seeds and yellow mustard seeds lies in their color: black mustard seeds are blackish grey, while yellow mustard seeds are light yellow. Both types come from the mustard plant, a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

Both black and yellow mustard seeds are primarily used for tempering, or tadka, a fundamental technique in most Indian cuisines.

Rai aka Black mustard seeds: Also known as black mustard or Brassica nigra, rai seeds are small, round, and vary in color from dark brown to black. These seeds are smaller and more pungent than yellow mustard seeds and are mainly used for seasoning food and in powdered form.

sarso aka Yellow Mustard Seed: The scientific names for yellow mustard seeds are Brassica hirta and Brassica alba. These seeds are round, hard, and lighter in flavor compared to black mustard seeds. Before commercial use, they are processed to remove the outer skin. Despite their milder taste, yellow mustard seeds have preservative qualities.

which is best black mustard seed or yellow mustard seed?

The choice between black mustard seeds and yellow mustard seeds depends on your culinary needs and flavor preferences, as both types have unique qualities and benefits:

Black Mustard Seeds:

  • Flavor: More pungent and spicier, adding heat to dishes.
  • Uses: Ideal for tempering in Indian cooking, adding aroma and heat to dishes.
  • Health Benefits: Rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and nutrients.

Yellow Mustard Seeds:

  • Flavor: Milder and less pungent, with a lighter taste.
  • Uses: Commonly used in condiments like mustard sauce and pickles, as well as in milder dishes.


 Mustard seeds may offer numerous health benefits, including:

  • Potential reduction of inflammation

  • Potential alleviation of pain

  • Potential decrease in swelling

  • Potential anti-cancer properties

  • Potential protection against ulcers

  • Potential use as an antiseptic

  • Potential antibacterial effects

Packed full of vitamins and minerals

Mustard seeds come with a range of vitamins and minerals. Both yellow and black mustard seeds contain good amounts of a range of nutrients. These include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Phosphorous
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Copper

Some amounts of these nutrients are relatively low, but the addition of any mineral into your diet is always beneficial.

How to Use Mustard Seeds for Health Benefits

  • Add Whole Seeds to Salads: Sprinkle whole mustard seeds on salads for an added crunch and health boost.
  • Incorporate into Pickles: Use mustard seeds as a key ingredient in pickling recipes to enhance flavor and preservation.
  • Enhance Curries: Include mustard seeds in your curry recipes to add depth and a unique taste.
  • Flavor Vegetable Dishes: Use mustard seeds to season and elevate the flavor of various vegetable dishes.



Yellow and black mustard seeds vary in color, size, and flavor. Yellow mustard seeds are lighter in color and have a milder taste, while black mustard seeds are darker, more pungent, and spicier.

Originating from the East Mediterranean, yellow mustard seeds are typically used in condiments and sauces. In contrast, black mustard seeds, which come from the Middle East, are used to impart aroma and heat to dishes.

Mustard seeds offer numerous health benefits. They are rich in nutrients, contain antioxidants, and possess anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to good cardiovascular health.


**You must consult your doctor before taking mustard seeds in large quantities or any herbal supplements. Likewise, consult a qualified doctor before discontinuing or replacing an ongoing modern medical treatment with an ayurvedic | herbal preparation. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Mustard Seeds

1. Can I substitute yellow mustard seeds for black?

Yellow mustard seeds are significantly milder than black mustard seeds, so if substituting, you'll need to use a larger quantity of yellow seeds to achieve a similar flavor. Despite belonging to the same plant family, yellow and black mustard seeds come from different plants, resulting in distinct flavor differences. Yellow seeds are the mildest, while black seeds are the most pungent.


2. Can you substitute yellow mustard seeds for black mustard seeds? Yes, you can substitute yellow mustard seeds for black mustard seeds, but you'll need to use a larger quantity. This is because yellow seeds are much milder in flavor compared to black seeds.

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