Healing Herbs and Spices: Nutmeg

Illustration:  Franz Eugen Kohler, Kohler's Medizinal-Pflanzen
Nutmeg is derived from the seeds of  the nutmeg in the Myristica genus, which is native to India and Indonesia.  Nutmeg has a slightly bitter, astringent and pungent taste and is used in various dishes in many parts of the world.  Historically, it has been a costly spice, highly prized for its flavor, medicinal and therapeutic uses.  However, nutmeg should not be used by pregnant and nursing women and must only be used sparingly
as it contains myristicin (myristic acid).  Large doses can cause hallucinations, convulsions, heart palpitations, vomiting, nausea and even miscarriage.

Nutmeg is known to have antioxidant properties and is rich in Vitamins A and C, folic acid, riboflavin and niacin.  It is also a good source of minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and iron.  It also contains large amounts of essential oils, including eugenol.
In Ayurveda, nutmeg is called "jaiphal" and is used in ayurvedic herbal preparations and treatments.  It is thought to pacify the Vata and Kapha doshas and to increase the Pitta dosha.

This exotic, flavorful spice is believed to:
  • Control vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and relax spasms
  • Reduce gas and bloating
  • Aid digestion and improve the appetite
  • Stimulate the mind and improve memory
  • Produce a euphoric effect
  • Reduce stress, relax muscles and relieve tension
  • Combat asthma
  • Relieve toothache
  • Promote sleep
  • Have aphrodisiacal properties
  • Treat impotency and improve libido
  • Used topically, have a toning effect on the skin
 This information is provided for general interest and informational purposes only. It is not intended as guidance for medicinal use. Consultation with professional health care provider is always advised and encouraged.
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