Nutmeg is a spice used in small quantities in various dishes and cuisines. Nutmeg is the only spice that has two distinct spices in it – nutmeg and nutmace! It has sweet aroma and hence the Botanical name Myristica fragrans. It is cultivated in the Caribbean, South India and Malaysia.
Nutmace is the orange reddish lacy structured that covers nutmeg seed. It gives a slight orange color to dishes. Both nutmeg and nutmace have many health benefits and are part of traditional remedies. Nutmeg is a moderate size tree and bark and leaves are also used in medicine preparation. In cuisines grounded nutmeg used in pinches while preparing curry powder, desserts and many non-vegetarian dishes. It gives a strong flavor to food. It is added in masala mixes.
Nutmeg contains myristicin, eugenol, safrole type of volatile oils and is rich in minerals such as magnesium, manganese and copper. It has other nutrients in abundant too -Beta carotein, dietary fiber, folic acid, Vitamin A, B, C, niacin and macelignan.
Adding nutmeg in food can help in several conditions.
Do you know? “Both nutmeg and mace contain antioxidants and disease-preventing phytochemicals”
It is aphrodisiac: Nutmeg stimulates nerves and is considered one of the best brain tonic. It reduces stress and anxiety. Essential oil of nutmeg is aphrodisiac and improves moods, reduces depression, fatigue and stress.
To get good sleep: Boil milk and add a pinch of nutmeg powder. Drink before going to bed. It reduces insomnia and helps to get good sleep. Nutmace powder has same effect as nutmeg powder. It reduces nerve tension and stimulate release of serotonin. While drinking with milk you can little turmeric or saffron with nutmeg powder.
For easy digestion: Adding nutmeg powder or sprinkling little nutmeg powder in curry, soups helps to improve digestion and it reduces constipation and bloating. It improves bowel movement and removes gas. Add pinch nutmeg powder in one glass amla juice and drink daily for a week to improve digestion.
For skin health: For centuries nutmeg is an important ingredient of skin care products. The natural antimicrobial property of nutmeg helps in removal of blackheads, pimples and clogged pores. To use at home mix little nutmeg powder in honey and milk cream. Prepare paste and apply on affected areas. Live it for few minutes and wash face. Another remedy is – mix nutmeg and turmeric powder with yogurt, prepare a paste and apply on face. Avoid eye area. Leave it for few minutes and wash using warm water.
Relieves pain: Volatile oils present in nutmeg helps in reducing muscle pain. Anti-inflammatory properties of volatile oil is good for treating muscle and joint pain. Warm few drops of nutmeg oil and apply on affected area to get relief from pain, swelling and body soreness.
For bad breath: Improper digestive system, diet and unhealthy food consumption can lead to bad breath. Nutmeg and mace helps in detoxifying the body and removes unnecessary toxins accumulation in the system. It is a common ingredient in Ayurvedic toothpastes and gum medicines. Eugenol is an essential that is present in clove is also present in nutmeg. It helps in reducing bad breath and improves gum health.
Cold and cough reducer: Mace spice often used in treating both cough and cold. Traditional cough medicines contains mace as one of the ingredient and cold rubs contain mace spice too. It is a good remedy for asthma and helps in breathing.
Blood circulation: Add pinch of nutmeg powder into smoothies, fruit juices and while preparing curry. Mineral contents present in nutmeg helps in improving blood circulation and brings balance in blood pressure.
Kidney health: Nutmeg is a diuretic and promotes urination. Studies show that adding or consuming pinch of nutmeg along with food helps in reducing kidney stone problem.
Apart from above medicinal properties both nutmeg and mace spices are used in preparation of dessert and soups. One can add these two spices in puddings, muffins, cakes, bread, sweets, masala tea, pickles, curries and soups.
Some people are allergic to different types of nuts. If you develop allergic reactions after consuming nutmeg spices, stop using them. If you would like to use this spice first make sure that you are not allergic to nutmeg or mace.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: March 4, 2019