Do mustard baths cure colds?

The gist:

Some people claim taking a mustard bath eases their cold symptoms. The practice involves bathing in water that’s spiked with mustard seed powder or a mix made with the ingredient.

Expert insight:

People who take these baths report that it makes them sweat more than plain hot baths do, thanks to a compound in mustard called sinigrin, says Jaclyn Tolentino, DO, a physician at Parsley Health in Los Angeles. This can give the illusion of “sweating out” the cold––which isn’t actually possible. “When you’re sick, your body needs more fluids to loosen mucus and help fight infection,” Tolentino says. In other words, you want to prioritize taking fluids in, not sweating them out. Plus, there’s no research to show sinigrin will cure your cold.

The bottom line:

Skip the mustard mix and take a regular hot bath instead, which can boost immunity and relieve muscle aches and congestion, says Tolentino. If you’re looking for another natural cold remedy with science behind it, try eating a spoonful of honey.