How Was Mustard Used in Ancient Times?

Mustard is a condiment that has been used for thousands of years. It was a popular ingredient in ancient times for its flavor and medicinal properties. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which mustard was used in ancient times.

The Origin of Mustard

Mustard is believed to have originated in India around 3000 BC. It was then brought to other parts of the world by traders and travelers. The ancient Greeks and Romans were also known to use mustard as a condiment and medicine.

Mustard as Medicine

In ancient times, mustard was used for its medicinal properties. It was believed to have healing powers and was used to treat various ailments such as colds, coughs, and even toothaches. Mustard plasters were also commonly used for pain relief.

How to Make a Mustard Plaster

To make a mustard plaster, mix equal parts of mustard powder and flour with enough water to form a paste. Spread the paste on a piece of cloth and place it on the affected area. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before removing.

Mustard in Cooking

Mustard was also widely used as a flavoring agent in cooking. The ancient Romans were known to use mustard seeds to make their famous condiment, mustum ardens (meaning “burning must”). This condiment was made by mixing ground mustard seeds with unfermented grape juice or wine.

Mustard in Ancient Chinese Cuisine

In ancient China, mustard seeds were used to make hot mustard sauce which was often served with meat dishes. The Chinese also used ground mustard seeds in pickling recipes.

Mustard in Ancient Egyptian Cuisine

The ancient Egyptians believed that mustard had aphrodisiac properties and often included it in their meals. Mustard seeds were also used in embalming rituals to help preserve the bodies of the dead.


In conclusion, mustard has been an important ingredient in cooking and medicine for thousands of years. From the ancient Greeks and Romans to the Chinese and Egyptians, mustard has been a staple in many cultures. Whether you use it as a condiment or for its medicinal properties, mustard is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that has stood the test of time.