Mustard

 Mustard

Mustard is too well known to require describing. It is an emetic, diuretic, stimulant, and rubefacient.

It is used externally  as a poultice. Mustard poultices are made of the powder, bread crumbs, and water; or of one part of mustard to two of flour; or, especially for children, of linseed meal, mixed with a little of the powder, or having some of the powder slightly sprinkled on the surface. Sometimes a little vinegar is added under the idea that it increases the strength of the poultice, but this is not necessary. In all cases where a stimulant is required, such as sore throats, rheumatic pains in the joints, cholera, cramps in the extremities, diarrhœa, and many other diseases. When applied it should not he left on too long, as it is apt to cause ulceration of the part. From ten to thirty minutes is quite long enough.

When used internally  as an emetic, a large teaspoonful mixed with a tumbler of warm water generally operates quickly and safely, frequently when other emetics have failed. In dropsy it is sometimes given in the form of whey, which is made by boiling half an ounce of the bruised seeds in a pint of milk, and straining off the curd.

From three to four ounces of this is to be taken for a dose three times a day. 


Adulteration of Mustard

Genuine mustard, either in powder, or in the state of a paste ready for use, is perhaps rarely to be met with in the shops. The article sold under the name of genuine Durham mustard, is usually a mixture of mustard and common wheaten flour, with a portion of Cayenne pepper, and a large quantity of bay salt, made with water into a paste, ready for use. Some manufacturers adulterate their mustard with radish-seed and pease flour.

It has often been stated, that a fine yellow colour is given to mustard by means of turmeric. We doubt the truth of this assertion. The presence of the minutest quantity of turmeric may instantly be detected, by adding to the mustard a few drops of a solution of potash, or any other alkali, which changes the bright yellow colour, to a brown or deep orange tint.

Two ounces and a half of Cayenne pepper, 1-1/2 lbs. of bay salt, 8 lbs. of mustard flour, and 1-1/2 lbs. of wheaten flour, made into a stiff paste, with the requisite quantity of water, in which the bay-salt is previously dissolved, forms the so-called genuine Durham mustard, sold in pots. The salt and Cayenne pepper contribute materially to the keeping of ready-made mustard.

There is therefore nothing deleterious in the usual practice of adulterating this commodity of the table. The fraud only tends to deteriorate the quality and flavour of the genuine article itself.