Evergreen Myristica fragrans tree, is the only tree that is the source of two amazing spices that is revered worldwide – Nutmeg and Mace.
Native to the Maluku island also known as the Spice Islands in Indonesia, nutmeg tree is commonly grown in the tropical areas of the world like the India, Caribbean etc.
Thanks to its warm and nutty flavour, nutmeg can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It also has an array of incredible compunds that is beneficial to promote your overall health.
Growing, Preparing And Storing Nutmeg
The nutmeg tree thrives well in tropical climate. It can reach to heights of 50-60 feet when fully grown. With oblong shaped leaves and small yellow flowers, nutmeg spice is found inside the seed the light yellow fruit.
Once mature the fleshy part of the fruit bursts open to reveal the kernel. This kernel is envelped with a lacy delicate aril, this is the spice Mace. First, the mace is gently peeled away from the kernel. Then this kernel is dried under the sun for 6-8 weeks or sooner with the help of a drying machine till the inner seed shrinks away from the shell and starts rattling inside the kernel. Once ready, the shells are cut open to revealthe shriveled nutmeg. This nut is then dipped in lime water to prevent any infestation and seed germination.
Nutmegs are sold as is or in a powdered form. Though both are equally good it is prefered to purchase whole nutmeg that can be powdred before use. Nutmeg, when stored in a air tight glass container and placed in a cold, dark place will retain its freshness for many months.
A pungent fragrance combined with a warm and sweetish flavor makes nutmeg versatile enough to be added to both sweet and savory dishes. It is a key ingredient in cheesy dishes like alfredo and very commonly used in eggnog and pies. It can be used by itself or combined with other earthy spices.
Even though it is used sparingly, nutmeg has a great impact on your health. It’s got a rich nutritive content consisting of vitamins, fibers, manganese, magnesium, thiamin, folate, copper and more.
Nutmeg is in antioxidants, compounds that protect your cell from damages caused by free radicals. It is also known to be an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and a chronic pain reliever.
For generations, nutmeg has been used as a home remedy to fight insomnia; a pink of nutmeg in warm milk is all that it takes. Studies have also shown that scent of nutmeg helps reduce weakness and improves the duration of deep sleep.
Ayurveda And Nutmeg
This aromatic warming spice pacifies vata and kapha and increases pitta. It is pungent, bitter and astringent in taste.
Nutmeg has been used in Ayurveda for a very long time, especially for helping with depression. In fact it even has fewer side effects when compared to allopathic medication.
Rich in carmative properties, nutmeg helps aid digestion. It can be consumed with ginger and cold water or applied topically. If consumed with honey, nutmeg helps give relief from nausea and indigestion.
Nutmeg oil can also be massaged locally to help with rheumatic pains on the joints.
We have used Nutmeg in:
|Scientific Name:||Myristica fragrans|
|Cultivated in:||Caribbean, India|
|Other names:||Fragrant nutmeg|
|Soil||Well drained clay to red soil|
|Plant Size||30-50 ft|
|Plant parts used||Seed|
Known As In
|Taste:||Pungent, Bitter, Astringent|
|Effect on Doshas:||Balances Kapha and Vata, Increases pita|
|Used for Treating:||Oral infection, Stomach Infecions, Rheumotoid pains, Insomnia|