Nothing spells Christmas like eggnog with a sprinkle of nutmeg. The sweet aroma brings the warmth of the season to life. The hard brown seed from the nutmeg tree (a tropical evergreen) has a warm, spicy sweet flavor.
Nutmeg scientifically known as (Myristica fragrans), is the seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1.2 in) long and 15 to 18 mm (0.6 to 0.7 in) wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 g (0.2 and 0.4 oz) dried, while mace is the dried “lacy” reddish covering or aril of the seed. The first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place 7–9 years after planting, and the trees reach full production after 20 years.
The nutmeg tree is indigenous to the Banda Islands of Indonesia but is also grown in the Caribbean, especially in Grenada. At one point, nutmeg was one of the most valuable spices. It has been said that in England, several hundred years ago, a few nutmeg nuts could be sold for enough money to enable financial independence for life.
Why should nutmeg be incorporated in our diet?
If you suffer from digestion-related problems like diarrhea, constipation and bloating, nutmeg can effectively offer you relief. Nutmeg oil relieves stomachaches by removing the excess gas from your intestines.
Detoxification is an important factor of good health. Diet, pollution, stress, tobacco, medication and other external substances can lead to the build-up of toxins in your organs. The liver and kidney are two of the organs where this toxic build-up usually develops. As a tonic, nutmeg can clean your liver and kidney and remove these toxins. If you are suffering from a liver disease then nutmeg can also be beneficial. Nutmeg is also effective in preventing and dissolving kidney stones. When your liver and kidney are successfully detoxified, they can perform their function better.
If skin care is one of your priorities then you might want to incorporate nutmeg into your regime. Nutmeg can actually help you achieve smoother and healthier skin by helping you treat several skin problems. A scrub made from nutmeg powder and orange lentil powder can help you remove blackheads, a type of acne characterized by pores clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. If you suffer from acne marks, nutmeg can also help make your scars less noticeable. What you need to do is mix some nutmeg powder with some honey to make a paste, which you will then apply to the acne marks.
Because of its antibacterial properties, nutmeg can also effectively treat halitosis or bad breath. As you probably know, bad breath is usually caused by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. Nutmeg can rid your mouth of these bacteria. This is the reason why nutmeg is a common ingredient in many brands of toothpaste.
In concluding, a dusting of nutmeg adds aroma and enhances the taste of your food. It also gives you trace minerals that keep the immune system strong. Potassium, calcium, iron and manganese are among key minerals found in nutmeg.
Note: Two or more consumed nutmeg may be toxic if swallowed directly, symptoms may include abdominal pain, blurry vision, hallucinations, in fact any symptoms of poisoning must be attended to immediately.