National Mustard Day is celebrated on the first Saturday of August each year to appreciate one of the most popular condiments in the world.

Known across the globe for centuries, mustard is believed to have originated from ancient Egypt. The spice soon gained popularity among Greeks and Romans for its flavor. 

The word "mustard" reportedly got its name from the word "mosto" or "grape muss," a type of young unfermented wine that French monks mixed with mustard seeds. French monasteries started producing a large amount of mustard by the 9th century.

The modern mustard, popularly known as Dijon mustard, was created in France in the 13th century. It was made possible by the efforts of Pope John XXII of Avignon, who loved mustard so much that he even appointed his nephew from Dijon, France, as "Le Grand Moustardier du Pape" or "The Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope."

Mustard started to be powdered in British mills in the 19th century and became an industrial-level food ingredient. In 1904, the yellow mustard was introduced in Rochester, New York. The condiment then became popular soon after it was paired with hot dogs.

hot-dog-1238711_640 Representational image Photo: pixabay

But, did you know that mustard is also loved by many for its medicinal properties? In fact, it was traditionally used to cure a range of diseases, including scorpion bites

In celebration of National Mustard Day, let's learn about some of the health benefits of this world-famous condiment. (Courtesy: Healthline)

1- Mustard protects from cancer- Many scientific studies have shown that glucosinolates in mustard may help kill cancer cells.

2- Mustard reduces symptoms of psoriasis- Researchers have found that a diet rich in mustard can help reduce inflammation caused by psoriasis and promote healing of the lesions.

3- Mustard lowers blood sugar levels- Studies have shown that taking mustard, along with medication for diabetes, has more effect in regulating blood sugar levels.

4- Mustard protection from certain infections- Some studies have shown that antioxidants in mustard may provide a certain level of protection against bacteria and fungi, including E. coli, B. subtilis and S. aureus. 

5- Mustard prevents cell damage- The antioxidants and several other nutrients in mustard can help prevent cell damage and diseases.