Nutmeg is a spice made from the seed of the nutmeg tree or Myristica fragrans.
Nutmeg can be purchased in two forms, whole or ground. Ground nutmeg has been milled to a rough powder form and, although convenient, tends to lose its flavor and aroma quickly. For this reason, ground nutmeg is generally sold in very small quantities.
Whole nutmeg is approximately the size of an apricot pit and has an indefinite shelf life. To use whole nutmeg, a microplane or nutmeg grater must be used to shave off a small portion of the seed. Because nutmeg is so strongly flavored, only a small amount is needed to impart a large amount of flavor.
Botanically known as Myristica fragrans, the nutmeg tree originates in Banda, the largest of the Molucca spice islands of Indonesia
In the first century A.D., Roman author Pliny speaks of a tree bearing nuts with two flavors. Emperor Henry VI was said to have the streets of Rome fumigated with nutmegs before his coronation. In the the sixth century, nutmegs were brought by Arab merchants to Constantinople.
When the nutmeg fruit is about to split apart, the fruit is harvested and the fruit’s kernel and seed are separated. Then the seed is dried in the sunlight and the nutmeg is produced.
This delicate, slightly sweet spice is full of nutrients and minerals which are beneficial to many health conditions.
Nutmeg/Mace is said to be enriched with properties that can detoxify the body from factors like chemical, excess salts, toxins, etc. which can damage liver cells adversely.
Nutmeg/Mace contains methanol that possesses pain-relieving properties. Which is why including this spice in your diet can reduce the pain associated with wounds and injuries and strains.
Improves kidney health
Nutmeg/Mace is said to be a diuretic in nature and promote proper urination that results in healthy kidneys. Moreover, many studies have proved that adding nutmeg to your food or consuming a pinch of it can help dissolve kidney stones effectively.
Treats anxiety and insomnia
Nutmeg/Mace contains trimyristin, which, as per studies, showed to cause anxiogenic (reducing anxiety) responses. Nutmeg also works as an antidepressant and can help in treating depression. The spice is basically a brain tonic that stimulates your brain. It even helps eliminate mental fatigue and stress and boosts mental activity.
Improves blood circulation
Nutritionists suggest that potassium found in the spice can relax your blood vessels and allow proper blood circulation.
Helps fight acne
Nutmeg/Mace exhibits strong antibacterial and antifungal activities – and this can help treat acne. And then, there is the anti-inflammatory activity of the spice, which can heal inflammation and redness associated with acne.
You can prepare an acne mask by mixing one teaspoon each of nutmeg and honey (for its additional antibacterial properties). Apply the mixture gently to your face. Leave it on for 30 minutes, and wash off with cold water.