The aromatic spice, nutmeg benefits your health by improving appetite, curing digestive problems, reducing flatulence, relaxing the muscles, controlling asthma, etc.
Moreover, nutmeg oil is useful in dealing with aches and pains. However, it should be taken in small amounts to avoid its side effects.
Apart from the medicinal benefits, nutmeg or Jaiphal is also used for culinary purposes because of its warm, savory flavor and sweet, cinnamon-like smell. Interestingly, this herb is considered as a good-luck charm for gambling.
Basically, nutmeg (Jaiphal) is an egg-shaped seed from nutmeg fruit. The seed has a dried red lacy membrane known as mace; it is the sister spice of nutmeg. Both the spices have similar sensory qualities, but mace has a finer aroma and flavor than nutmeg.
This is a baking spice that is usually available in powdered form but mostly, freshly ground nutmeg is preferred.
The spice should be stored in airtight containers and should be kept away from moisture, heat and direct sunlight to avoid loss of aroma and flavor. One nutmeg seed can be grated to get two to three teaspoons of ground nutmeg.
Scientific Name: Myristica fragrans (Houtt.)
Common Names: Jaiphal, Jaivitri, Jawzat, Pala, Muskatbaum, Muscadier, Nuez Moscadaetc, etc.
This herb is native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia. In addition, it is cultivated in Grenada, India, Malaysia, West Indies and Sri Lanka. The plant comes under the Myristicaceae family.
Nutmeg is a carminative, stimulant, deobstruent, antimicrobial, anti inflammatory, antispasmodic, psychoactive and aphrodisiac properties. Besides, Jaiphal or nutmeg benefits the cardiovascular system.
On the downside, though, this herb is also considered as a pseudo-hallucinogen. It contains myristicin, a poisonous narcotic. Thus, it should be taken in small quantities.
Coming to the benefits of nutmeg, it aids in digestion, provides relief from diarrhea and prevents flatulence and stomach gas. It is useful in curing skin issues such as Eczema and Acne. Plus, it helps eliminate bad breath and is also used in various cough syrups.
Furthermore, nutmeg or Jaiphal improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. Besides, it helps in the treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia and impotence. Moreover, this therapeutic herb can be used for detoxification of the liver and kidneys.
Nutmeg oil is rich in eugenol, which helps relieve joint pains. The herb is often included in sex tonics for treating debility. Nutmeg essential oil usually blends well with geranium, rosemary, cypress, clary sage, black pepper and orange.
In terms of nutritional value, nutmeg contains plant derived chemical compounds rich in antioxidants. Plus, it contains essential oils like dipentene, pinene, sabinene, terpeniol, etc.
Furthermore, nutmeg (Jaiphal) includes vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, niacin and riboflavin. The herb is also a good source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Uses of Nutmeg or Jaiphal
- • Take a finely powdered mixture of two teaspoons of nutmeg and a quarter teaspoon of dried ginger. Before meals, consume 1/8 teaspoon of this mixture with some warm water.
This is one of the most effective nutmeg home remedies for flatulence and gas. Besides, you can prepare an herbal tea by adding crushed cardamom pods (three to four), and a pinch of dried ginger and nutmeg.
- • To cure diarrhea at home, take one tablespoon of poppy seeds, two tablespoons of sugar, half a teaspoon each of cardamom powder and nutmeg and one teaspoon of edible gum.
Grind this mixture and have the resultant powder every two hours. Infants can be given apple stew mixed with one teaspoon of sugar and two pinches of nutmeg powder.
- • Nutmeg benefits in the home treatment of Eczema by applying a thin paste of grated nutmeg mixed with water.
- • For healing acne, you can apply a mixture of nutmeg powder and raw milk for about half an hour and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
- • Application of a mixture of nutmeg oil (10 drops) and almond oil (10 ml) helps relieve rheumatic pain. For sciatica pain, you can boil, strain, cool and then apply a combination of three tablespoons of nutmeg powder and a cup of sesame oil.
Here’s a video showing how to use nutmef for aromatherapy.
When applied on chest, it helps relieve congestion. Similarly, nutmeg oil can be used in reducing toothache.
- • Massaging the forehead and temples with a solution of nutmeg oil mixed with any carrier oil such as rosemary oil serves as an efficient home remedy for headache.
- • Consuming three to five drops of nutmeg oil mixed with a teaspoon of honey or some sugar is beneficial in getting rid of nausea and indigestion.
- • Inhaling nutmeg oil serves as one of the most useful natural home remedies for stress, anxiety and depression.
Besides, applying a paste of nutmeg powder and clarified butter on the forehead before going to bed works as a valuable solution for insomnia. Alternatively, you can add 1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg in a cup of milk.
- • When dealing with cold and nasal congestion, take a combination of equal quantities of nutmeg and cinnamon powder in the morning and evening.
Apart from these medicinal uses, nutmeg (Jaiphal) is also used while cooking pies, puddings, cookies, etc. In addition, it can be added in soups and cheese sauces.
This valuable herb is used in perfumes and ointments, too. Besides, it is believed that nutmeg helps induce lucidity in dreams.
When consumed in excess, nutmeg or Jaiphal can give rise to problems like lack of concentration, restlessness, elation and hallucination. Other symptoms of side effects include stomach pain, nausea, double vision, palpitation and delirium.
Thus, although nutmeg (Jaiphal) benefits in providing relief from a number of health issues, you should take it sparingly in small doses (not more than 3 to 10 grams).