Improve your Respiratory Problems With This Mustard Seed Poultice

Mustard Seeds on a bowl Dsaikia2015, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

There are numerous benefits to Mustard seeds (Brassica juncea; Brassica nigra; Sinapis alba). They are rich in selenium and magnesium and are also anti-inflammatory. They are a rubefacient which means they enhance circulation. Mustard is pungent and has warming qualities which also make it effective for skin infections. Mustard seeds are used in recovery from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neuropathic pain.

Ground mustard seed poultices can be applied for neuralgia, sciatica, gout, and pneumonia.

This poultice is especially effective to treat children and adults with a cold, flu, bronchitis, pneumonia or pain due to poor circulation.

Mustard Seed Poultice

This recipe will make 1 to 2 poultices.


  • 1 cup flaxseed (freshly ground or purchased as flaxseed meal)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed (freshly ground or purchased as ground mustard or powder)
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon virgin cold-pressed olive oil
  • Hot water bottle


  1. Carefully add the ground mustard to the flaxseed meal in a large bowl.
  2. Gently stir in the water to make a thick paste. The paste should hold together and not be runny.
  3. Place the ill child in bed so that their head and chest are slightly elevated.
  4. Rub olive oil generously from the neck, down the chest, and all the way to the beginning of the belly.
  5. With your fingers, gently apply a thin layer of paste about 1-inch thick, starting at the bottom of the neck, at the clavicles, and make a rectangle of paste all the way down to the diaphragm. Make sure you apply the paste only to the skin that is covered with olive oil. The mustard is a rubefacient, and the olive oil will protect the skin from irritation.
  6. When the plaster is placed, put a plastic bag over it, then a towel, then a hot water bottle over the chest, and cover it all with two blankets. Let sit for 1 hour, occasionally checking on the patient to make sure the skin is not burning or too hot.
  7. At the end of an hour, use the plastic to gather up the plaster. It can be discarded or saved and used the next day.
  8. Remove the remaining plaster and olive oil with a warm damp cloth and keep the patient warm.

The patient may now drink a cup of tea or if s/he/they are hungry, or eat some plain chicken broth with lemon, garlic, and onion. The plaster can be repeated daily as needed.

You can find this and other herbal home remedies in my book, Natural Woman: Herbal Remedies for Radiant Health at Every Age and Stage of Life.

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