Nutmeg tree, or we can call it Myristica fragrans, originated in Banda Island, which is known as the largest of the Molucca Spice Island in Indonesia.
The tree is found mainly in tropical areas, especially in Penang Island in Malaysia and the Caribbean. It is grown in Kerala in India, as well.
So what is the meaning of “nutmeg”? The English word “nutmeg” comes from a Latin word “nux” that means nut, and the word “muscat” that means musky in English.
Nowadays, the seed is usually used in 2 different types of spices: nutmeg and mace.
Nutmeg is the seed of the Myristica tree. The seed has an egg-shape and its length is about 20 to 30 mm. A nutmeg dried seed weights about 5 or 10 gram whereas, mace is actually the dried “lacy” reddish covering or aril of the seed.
Nutmeg was considered as one of the most priceless spices all over the world.
If you are looking for something that can bring all of warm, spicy and sweet flavors to you food, it is definitely nutmeg. This amazing brown seed has all the things you need for your dishes even with just a small amount that can pleasure your appetite.
It might take from 7 to 9 years waiting for the first harvest of nutmeg. Then after a quite long time, about 20 years, the trees could reach their full potential.
Nutmeg was considered as one of the most priceless spices all over the world. It was really expensive in the past. Can you imagine that nutmeg used to be sold in England with such a high price that was even enough for you to live independently for the rest of your life back then?
The portion of nutrients in the nutmeg is considered as one of the highest portions among all types of nuts. As the result, the seed itself can bring to you a lot of health and beauty benefits that you might be surprised.
The nutritional content of nutmeg
As you told you before, you can easily find a wide range of various nutrients in just a teaspoon of ground nutmeg. It sounds really amazing, does not it?
The factor that has the highest content inside this amazing seed is manganese. This element occupies about 41% nutrients of nutmeg. So why do we need manganese in our bodies? It contributes to the development of tissues, bones or even sex hormones. In addition, it also functions in blood clotting, regulating the amount of sugar in blood, metabolizing carbohydrates and absorbing calcium.
Nutmeg is considered as one of the best natural home remedy in term of reducing depression and anxiety
Moreover, copper and magnesium are also found inside nutmeg with the contents of 13% and 14%, respectively. An interesting thing about these elements is that they contain superoxide dismutase. This is an antioxidant enzyme that functions in the reparation process of cells and reducing the oxidative stress.
Are there any other elements in nutmeg benefiting our health? The answer is yes!
We have potassium firstly for regulating the speed of heart and blood pressure inside our bodies. We also have zinc and iron for the production of erythrocytes. B-vitamins, vitamins A and C, folate, riboflavin, niacin can be found in this amazing seed, as well.
Beside these chemical elements, we have some volatile essential oils such as trimyristin, myristicin, elemicin or even eugenol in the seed, as well.
Trimyristin and other essential volatile oils could bring an aromatic flavor to the food. The others help our bodies in relieving the pain of muscles and joints. They also have an ability to improve the sharpness of human brain that I will explain for you as below.
So now let’s take a look more detailed at the most important 10 health benefits that nutmeg can bring to our bodies due to its high portions of nutrients included inside such a small nut.
Amazing benefits of Nutmeg
1. Reducing depression and anxiety
Are you feeling stressed facing numerous problems in your life? Are you suffering from depression or even anxiety? Then nutmeg is definitely the best thing you need now. Nutmeg is considered as one of the best natural home remedy in term of reducing depression and anxiety.
The main components you can find inside nutmeg are myristicin and elemicin. These prominent compounds work together to relieve your tension. The seed itself also can act as a mild sedative.
In addition, nutmeg have the ability to promote the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. This could help the brain to “fight” depression and anxiety in life.
2. Improving the sharpness of brain
Myristicin and macelignan, which are the essential oils of this seed, give nutmeg the ability to improve the sharpness of human brain and memory capacities.
This amazing seed can also help to maintain neural pathways in the brain and protect them against degradation.
In fact, ancient Romans and Greek civilizations acknowledged about various benefits of nutmeg in improving concentration and the ability to focus. They even used the seed as a tonic for brain and drank it to prepare for mental challenges.
Last but not least, this amazing seed could also inhibits an enzyme that contributes to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Preventing Insomnia
You are suffering from chronic insomnia? You want to go to sleep but your brain does not let you rest? Then nutmeg is the right answer for your problem.
It has been known as a natural cure for sleeplessness and insomnia due to its sedative and calming properties for a long time. Nutmeg could help you to relieve your tension after a tiring day working and fall asleep easier.
Magnesium is contained inside the nut with a prominent portion making the nut such an amazing ability to prevent insomnia. This element is also a fundamental mineral in the body that could help to reduce the nerve stress in the brain and promote the production of serotonin. Serotonin is derived into melatonin that is known as a factor to induce relaxation or sedation in your brain.
4. Reducing joint and muscle pain
Nutmeg is also known as a natural pain-relieving remedy. The nut contains a high quantity of such as myristicin, elemicin and eugenol. The functions of these essential volatile oils are not only sharpening your mind and decreasing nerve tension but also reducing joint or muscle pain. Moreover, these oils have their own anti-inflammatory and alleviate characteristics. So they could also prevent and alleviate swelling or even infections.
5. Acne treatment
D you want to have a skin without any acnes? Do you want to have a perfect skin tone? Do you want to maintain your skin health with a natural medicine? Then nutmeg is the best choice for you to add into your skin care routine. This amazing nut has long been used in herbal medicine as a treatment to sustain the skin health and appearance.
The antioxidants in nutmeg effect your skin in various positive ways to prevent acnes and improve your skin condition. They can reduce the rapid multiplication of free radicals, thus, help to prevent inflammation or even irritation on your skin due to acne breakouts.
6. Improving the digestion in human body
The seed has a high content of fibers that could help to promote the digestive process by inducing the peristaltic contraction of the intestinal smooth muscles.
In addition, it also could stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes and numerous gastric, intestinal juices. So if you are always getting troubles with nausea, indigestion, vomiting or even bloating, then buy for yourself this seed and use it as a natural medicine from now on.
7. Preventing tooth decay and improving the oral health
With nutmeg, tooth decay or even halitosis, also knows as bad breath, are just the things in the past.
Why am I saying this so confidently? Because scientific research already pointed out that nutmeg has a strong ability to deal with these embarrassing conditions. It can kill the harmful bacteria effectively in the oral cavity. The seed can also improve the immunity of your gums and teeth. This is the reason why in many toothpastes and mouthwashes, you can find the extracts of nutmeg as an essential component.
8. Boosting the immunity of our bodies
Nutmeg could improve the immunity due to the essential minerals and vitamins included inside the seed. These vitamins and minerals contribute to the antioxidant reactions and could help us to battle against illnesses. Moreover, these antioxidants restrain the development of free radicals and prevent internal infections.
The nut also contains a huge amount of macro and micro elements such as potassium, calcium, and iron. They are the keys for the whole immune system in our bodies. They carry out the antibacterial reactions, help the body fight against bacteria, boost immune system and as the result, maintain our health.
9. Aiding detoxification
As I mentioned above, nutmeg has a rich portion of antioxidants. These antioxidants in nutmeg can help your kidney during filtration process of blood by activating enzymes and taking part in the process of removing toxic compounds inside your body.
Moreover, Magnesium in nutmeg plays an essential role in detoxifying cells. It is known as the best detox aid to eject harmful metals from human body.
So if you want to maintain a healthy detoxification system within your body, then it is recommended to add nutmeg to your diet, especially everyday but with a small quantity.
10. Antibacterial agent
You are worried about bacterial infections? You are searching for a natural home remedy that can hopefully help you to prevent bacterial infections? Then go ahead, buy and keep nutmeg at your home.
As we all know, nutmeg has the property to fight against bacteria. The volatile essential oil that gives nutmeg this property to protect your body from bacterial infections is myristicin, or myristic acid.
Due to its numerous highly nutritional benefits, nutmeg is produced in many different ways for daily uses. Nowadays, people use it as essential oils, extracted oleoresins, or even nutmeg butter in both of culinary and medicinal terms.
We can use nutmeg as a spice in both of sweet and savory dishes such as pies, custard, cookies or even cheese sauces and soups.
Nutmeg is a perfect extract for many different creamy and cheesy dishes. If you are a true gourmet, I am sure that you all know about alfredo and béchamel sauce, is this right?
Nutmeg is an important spicy that a chef often adds into his dishes to create their aroma. The cheese has it own creaminess that is mixed with the spicy flavor of nutmeg giving an unforgettably delicious taste for the dishes.
But commonly people use nutmeg in various types of desserts for extra flavors, especially apple and pumpkin pie to make the taste of the pie even more delicious and aromatic.
Moreover, nutmeg is also used in a variety of drinks all over the world such as eggnog, mulled wine, or even as a garnish for the topping of foamy coffee drinks.
And what about meats? Do not worry, you can use nutmeg to marinate as many types of meats as you want or like an extra ingredient in spice blends such as garam masala or curry, as well.
A natural home remedy for everyone
If you want to satisfy your gustation with something a little bit sweet then a glass of warm milk mixed with a teaspoon of nutmeg powder can be used. Or if peppermint tea is your favorite, go ahead and make for yourself a hot cup of it then add a little nutmeg ground for extra flavor to calm your ravenous stomach down.
As we all know, one of the amazing functions is nutmeg is the ability to relieving joint and muscular pains right? Then nothing is better than a good massage I can say.
Below is a recipe that I found on the Internet for making a homemade massage oil from nutmeg oil. Hopefully I could help you somehow to relax your stressing bodies after a tiring working day.
The almond oil is used as the base of this massage oil. In addition, we need also several carrier oils such as jojoba, hazelnut, and walnut oils. This massage oil is a mixture of 20 drops of nutmeg, 20 drops of ginger, 10 drops of rosemary and 3 ounces of almond oil (as the base of the oil). It could work even more effectively if you warm the mixture of these oils before you actually use it.
In medicine nowadays, scientists even distillate ground nutmeg to get the volatile essential oils from the nut because these essential oils have a lot of applications in pharmaceutical industries.
In addition, there are some scientists believing that nutmeg has a potential to fight against three different types of streptococcus bacteria. They also declare that the ethanol extracts in nutmeg can be used as a natural agent to kill bacteria in some oral care products such as toothpastes.
It is obvious now that nutmeg have a lot of benefits for our health in all terms, but it is not always safe for us to use it as much as we want. Make sure that you are following the right directions and ask your doctors about the products and the amount you need to take before using it. Below are just some tips you should keep in mind when using products that are made from nutmeg.
How to use nutmeg effectively and safely
With different ages, types of health and condition, people need different amount of nutmeg to consume. It is not always the same for everyone.
It is recommended that you should take nutmeg with an amount no more than a teaspoon of nutmeg powder. If you take it in too large doses or for a long time, it might lead to hallucinations and other mental side effects. Especially for pregnant women, it is unsafe for both of mother’s and the baby’s health because miscarriage and birth defect could also happen.
In addition, nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, agitation are also can be found with people who overuse nutmeg. The most serious side effect of this can be even death.