Nutmeg can be called a royal spice, which is obtained from the tropical tree Myristica fragrans. A few centuries ago, only very wealthy people could afford it. At first, people appreciated the spicy aroma and unusual piquant taste of the spice. Then it was found that it is also very useful for the body. Now it is widely used in aromatherapy, cosmetology and informal medicine.
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How nutmeg grows and looks
The Myristica fragrans tree, from which the spice nutmeg is derived, grows in Indonesia. Its full age is 100 years, but it bears fruit only the first forty. There are more than 300 varieties of nutmeg, but only 80 are fragrant. During flowering, the tree is covered with small, pale yellow bells. Then the stalk ripens and an elastic fruit is formed on it, which looks like an apricot.
When it is fully ripe, it bursts, revealing an oily pulp (macis) with a hard bone inside. They emit a spicy aroma, but it is even stronger at the nucleolus, which is located inside. It is from it that the seasoning, which is called “nutmeg”, is obtained. To do this, the bones are cleaned of the pulp of the fetus. Then they are dried in the sun, and the nucleoli are over the fire until they darken, then they are crushed.
To obtain high-quality seasoning, only fruits that bloom for 3-4 months are taken. Ripe nuts are of two types – round ones have a richer taste and aroma than oval ones. Until the 19th century, only two countries supplied the spice to other countries. Therefore, nutmeg was very expensive. The price of the spice dropped when tree plantations appeared in India, America, and Ceylon.
Nutmeg: useful properties
For the first time, the beneficial properties of nutmeg were discovered and tested in ancient Greece and Rome. At first, the spice was used as an aromatic additive to food and drinks, to eliminate unpleasant odors in the room.
|Nutritional value per 100 g spice|
|556 kcal||7 g||50 g||20 g||50 g||0.3 g||3 g|
The nut contains a large amount of B vitamins (1, 2, 3, 6, 9), but thiamine and niacin (PP) are leading among them. The spice also contains tocopherol (E) and biotin (H), the main minerals that are beneficial to the body. If a little nutmeg is added to food daily, it helps to cleanse the kidneys, liver and blood of toxins and toxins, and is able to remove various poisons from the body.
Due to the healing properties of the spice, it is included in complex therapy. It restores normal blood circulation, so it helps well with vascular dystonia. Eliminates headaches and migraines, stabilizes blood pressure. In ancient times, ground spice was used to treat nervous disorders, dental and muscle pain. What other benefits does nutmeg bring:
- improves mood;
- stimulates appetite;
- strengthens the nervous system;
- reduces inflammation;
- enhances the body’s resistance to stress;
- relaxes muscles after heavy physical exertion;
- restores blood circulation in the brain;
- prevents flatulence, bloating;
- strengthens blood vessels;
- fights insomnia;
- improves the functioning of the urinary organs;
- prevents the development of osteochondrosis, rheumatism, arthritis and arthrosis;
- reduces the intensity of pain.
Do not use spice before bedtime – this leads to CNS excitation, which lasts up to 4 hours. But this spice property is ideal for breakfast – morning tea with a pinch of spice quickly drives away drowsiness. This is especially important for those who are contraindicated in coffee.
Regular addition of nutmeg to food and drinks helps the resorption of small benign formations, slows down the growth of tumors. The spice is used as an aid in the treatment of staphylococcal infections and tuberculosis.
Nutmeg is very useful for women, relieving their condition during painful periods or during menopause, menopause. The spice helps to reduce the intensity of symptoms, it is easier to endure hormonal disruptions. It is necessary for the preservation of female beauty and youth. Its use in cosmetic formulations has a beneficial effect on the skin, hair and nails. It helps in the treatment of fungal diseases and bacterial infections, contributing to the destruction of pathogenic microflora.
The spice also has a positive effect on men’s health, helping to maintain and enhance potency, relieve stress after a hard day’s work or intense training. Nutmeg will be useful for children, strengthening immunity and providing strong antibacterial protection, but up to 12 years old it can be included in the diet only after the permission of the local doctor.
The harm of nutmeg
The taste of the spice is rich, spicy and oily, so you can’t eat a lot of it. But even in small quantities, in the presence of chronic pathologies, nutmeg should be used carefully. Before use, it is recommended that you first consult your doctor. Especially if there are problems with the liver – nutmeg is too heavy a component for it. The spice also has a number of contraindications:
- allergies or individual intolerance to products;
- age up to 12 years;
- disorders and disorders in the work of the central nervous system;
- exacerbation of colds, which are accompanied by fever;
- impaired concentration.
People with an unstable nervous system are not recommended to add nuts to food and drinks. It increases arousal and can cause an allergic reaction. Otherwise, it can provoke Quincke’s edema, coma, and even death. For the same reason, the spice should be consumed in small quantities for the first time.
During lactation, the nut increases the amount of milk, but it is important to monitor the condition of the child. Muscat often negatively affects the fragile health of babies. Therefore, it is recommended to choose other, safer ways to increase the production of breast milk.
What else can spice be dangerous for – it contains a substance that is similar in action to a light hallucinogen, which has a weak narcotic effect. Therefore, if you eat a large handful of fresh, not thermally processed nuts, then a person, at best, can get food poisoning, nausea, stomach cramps and loss of disorientation, at worst, hallucinations appear.
How to use nutmeg
You can use whole nuts or ground kernels, which are sold ionline . Instructions and recommended dosages are attached to each product. How to use nutmeg – the maximum daily amount of seasoning should not exceed 3 g (approximately – this is the amount of spice on the tip of a knife) and no more than one nut.
If you add more spices to a dish or drink, it will spoil them. Also, an overdose can cause headache, nausea, vomiting, or heart palpitations. Ground nutmeg is used for cooking or instead of sleeping pills, spreading ¼ tsp. in warm milk, which is drunk before going to bed.
Where is nutmeg added?
The spice has a spicy, nutty flavor that is great for desserts, pastries, drinks, and mulled wine. Ground nutmeg goes well with cocoa, hot chocolate, warm milk, coffee. It gives a new taste:
- mushroom dishes;
- mashed potatoes;
- Italian pasta;
- sweet potato
- sauces and dressings;
- cabbage dishes;
The spice is included in the composition of complex spicy mixtures. It is added to smoked meats, sausages, canned fish and cheeses. It is an important ingredient in curry sauce.
The nutty-spicy flavor of the seasoning is used to create perfume compositions, the manufacture of tobacco products. It is highly valued in aromatherapy, and incense is made from it. For meditation or for health purposes, essential oil is more often used . It is poured into an aroma lamp at the rate of 2 drops / 10 ml of water.
Nutmeg is used in folk recipes:
- It is great for migraines. For its treatment, ground nutmeg is added to the milk to make a mass of the consistency of thick sour cream. It is applied to the forehead and held until the symptoms disappear.
- With mastopathy, ground spice is added to vegetable salads or ready meals.
- Nutmeg enhances the production of breast milk. To do this, a woman needs to drink a glass of kefir daily with a pinch of spices and dill.
- To combat varicose veins, a glass of boiling water is poured into 1 tsp. honey and ½ tsp. ground nut. Infuse for 10 minutes, divide into two portions, which are drunk during the day, 30 minutes before or after meals.
In Eastern alternative medicine, nutmeg is used as an aphrodisiac, which enhances sexual desire and increases the chances of conception. And also to solve the problem of rapid ejaculation, treatment of impotence.
Nutmeg is used in the field of cosmetology. Most often it uses essential oil . It accelerates the healing of microdamages, eliminates inflammation and redness, acne, rashes, and prevents the spread of infection through the skin.
Maintains its elasticity, prevents the appearance of the vascular network, stimulates the production of elastin and collagen. Protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation, prevents premature aging, softens the epidermis and eliminates peeling. Oil can be added to home cosmetics (masks, creams, serums) or you can buy ready-made cosmetics:
Its essential oil is added to the massage cream, it helps to quickly get rid of cellulite. Rinse your hair with a tincture or decoction of nutmeg. Means strengthen them, prevent the appearance of split ends, stimulate the growth of curls.
What to substitute for nutmeg
If nutmeg is not at hand or there are contraindications for it, then it can be replaced with other spices:
- cinnamon with chopped walnut kernels;
- white pepper;
- ground ginger;
Nutmeg can be substituted for any spice blends that contain ground ingredients from the list.
Nutmeg is a versatile seasoning that is added to most foods and drinks in ground form. Even in this use case, it brings great benefits to the body. But the spice can also be used to prepare cosmetic formulations and aromatherapy.