Mustard plasters are a common method of therapy for many diseases of the respiratory tract. However, in some cases, their use is prohibited, for example, if the patient is diagnosed with bronchial asthma. To avoid adverse reactions and deterioration of health, the patient needs medical advice before starting treatment.

Are mustard plasters allowed for asthma?

Suffocative coughing fits can be very dangerous, as they provoke a shortage of air in a person. Asthma is caused by irritants such as pollen, dust, chemicals, and other substances. It is important to note that mustard, which secretes special essential oils, is a strong allergen and can cause a choking attack.

To clear the airways, the bronchi provoke an increased production of phlegm, from which all the dirt must be removed. If a person suffers from asthma, mustard plasters, hot baths and other warming procedures are strictly contraindicated, as they can lead to bronchial edema. A strong asthmatic cough cannot be treated with this method, since the vessels dilate and lead to an increase in reflex and suffocation.    

We can conclude: doctors do not put mustard plasters for bronchial asthma and prohibit this procedure for patients, especially during an exacerbation. It should be noted that asthma is often confused with manifestations of other respiratory diseases. To accurately determine the diagnosis, you should consult a doctor and undergo an examination. If bronchial asthma is really the cause of a suffocating cough, then mustard plasters are not used. However, for bronchitis, laryngitis, and other inflammation of the respiratory system, warming patches can help.  

Young children under 2 years old should not be put on mustard plasters at all, since there is a risk of severe spasms due to the peculiarities of the anatomical structure of the child. 

Mechanism of action

The main component of the product is mustard essential oil , which is released when mustard powder gets wet. When applied, the skin receptors are irritated due to the special chemical composition of the mustard plasters, and the body responds in the form of dilating blood vessels and a rush of blood. The place of application of the product turns red, there is a burning sensation and itching. 

At the same time, the adrenal glands begin to release adrenaline into the bloodstream, which activates phagocytes, the immune system’s protective cells responsible for killing pathogens. By stimulating blood flow, inflammation is reduced, toxins and lactic acid are removed from the tissues.

The therapeutic effect of mustard plasters is explained by the following substances in the composition:

  • Sinargin and sinalbin . These components are irritating, similar to allergens. They become the reason for the accelerated release of adrenaline.
  • Phytosterols and unsaturated fatty acids. They are beneficial due to their bactericidal effect.
  • Mirozin . This enzyme activates glycosides, thereby achieving an antiseptic effect and deep penetration of irritating components under the skin.
  • Vitamins and minerals. There are very few of them in mustard plasters to get a tangible effect. However, a certain amount is absorbed by the body.

The procedure has an expectorant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect on the affected area. They are used to treat many colds, but they cannot be used for asthma.


There are two types of mustard plasters:

  • package – a kind of paper bag that has 2-3 sectors filled with powder;
  • sheet – uniformly impregnated paper.

The freshness of the mustard plaster affects the effect of the procedure. It is identified by its yellow color and lack of odor. However, the characteristic mustard aroma appears when the powder comes into contact with water.

In terms of efficiency, mustard plasters of both types practically do not differ from each other. The bags are convenient because you can use several cells at once or one, depending on your needs. The impregnated paper is more uniform and has the same effect on the entire application area.

Application features

Mustard plasters are a contraindicated procedure for asthmatic syndrome, but for the treatment of cough that occurs with other diseases. However, at the stage of exacerbation, warming up only aggravates the patient’s condition.  

Mustard plasters are not applied to the skin if its integrity is violated: for dermatological diseases, pustular rashes, itching, wounds and cuts. They are also prohibited for pregnant women. This is due to increased blood flow during the procedure, which can lead to fetal abnormalities and even miscarriage.

If there are no contraindications, you need to be able to correctly put mustard plasters:

  • First, the patches are dipped in water for 5-7 seconds. It is necessary to ensure that they do not become limp.
  • After that, the mustard plasters are immediately applied to the skin and covered with a dry towel. The patient is covered with a warm blanket or blanket. 
  • The procedure lasts on average about 15 minutes. With a dry cough, the plasters are removed after 10 minutes, and with high skin sensitivity, 5 minutes will be enough.

After removing the mustard plasters, the heated area is wiped with a towel and lubricated with a moisturizer. It is advisable for the patient to drink a mug of hot herbal tea and not go outside for a couple of hours. Ideally, the procedure should be performed at bedtime so that the patient can rest and recover.

Where to put mustard plasters

For the treatment of wet cough with sputum separation, patches are applied to the back over the region of the bronchi and lungs. The main task of the procedure is to make the mucus more liquid and facilitate its release.  

With a dry cough, mustard plasters can be placed on the back above the bronchi and on the sternum. It is important to remember that the region of the heart is inviolable during any warming up procedures for coughing.  

Mustard is useful for many diseases of the respiratory system, but for asthma, it is forbidden to put mustard plasters. This is due to increased bronchospasm and suffocation. However, for other causes of cough, the doctor may approve the procedure. In any case, you need to consult a doctor before treatment.