Myristica fragrans, the nutmeg tree, is the only plant that gives us two spices. Mace can be described as the dried lacy reddish aril of the nutmeg fruit. Mace has a slightly warm taste and a fragrance similar to that of nutmeg. It is used to flavour bake goods, meat, and fish dishes; to flavour sauces and vegetables; and in preserving and pickling. Indonesia and Grenada are the world’s largest suppliers of mace. The tall, slow growing trees are native to Indonesia’s Moluccas Island. Mace has the same medicinal uses as nutmeg. Nutmeg is typically used for its warming effects, to treat gastrointestinal disorders (abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhoea) and as an analgesic.
The active principles in mace have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive, and carminative functions. Mace has been used in several different traditional medicine systems for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, malaria and measles, and may act as a pain reliever. It has also been used in combination with other herbs as an aphrodisiac and galactagogue (lactation stimulant).
Mace arils contain more calcium, copper, iron and magnesium than nutmeg. Mace has more vitamin-C content than nutmeg. 100 g mace spice has 21 mg against just 3 mg of nutmegs; mace oil contains eugenol, which has been used in dentistry for toothache relief. Mace can be applied to the skin to alleviate pain, especially pain caused by achy joints (rheumatism), mouth sores. It can reduce vomiting, nausea and general stomach uneasiness.
Mace aids digestion and also stimulates the appetite. It is an important ingredient in many cough syrups and cold rubs as it helps in relieving cough and cold. Further, it is very effective in treating asthma. Mace is beneficial for treating kidney infections and kidney diseases. Besides, it is also known for even dissolving kidney stones.