Sunday, October 18, 2009

Knowing about Nutmeg

In the early 1500s, explorers were on ships travelling all over the globe, in search of spices. Some voyages brought these adventurers to the tropical Spice Islands in Eastern Indonesia. There an evergreen tree with fruit that looked very similar to a peach or apricot was found. Once the fruit is cracked open, you can see the seed, which is nutmeg. This seed is covered with a reddish membrane that once dried is known to us as mace. 

A. Appearance
The nutmeg is a brown oval-shaped seed the size of a nut. Its exterior is extremely hard, yet it is extremely easy to grate. You can find nutmeg in the spice section of your local grocery store where it is sold in two forms: whole and grated. Nutmeg has a much more spicy, pungent, warm flavor when freshly grated, so it is recommended that you buy whole nutmeg and grate it as needed. A simple zester or other small grater will do the trick. Nutmeg, like other spices, should be stored in a cool, dark place.

B. Nutritional Benefits Of Nutmeg

Brain Booster
One of the main properties of nutmeg is that it’s helpful in stimulating the brain. It provides relief from stress and fuels mental activities as well. It can even boost concentration, as it is supposed to improve blood circulation to brain. However, make sure to take in a very little amount, as too much can cause delirium.

Tonic For The Heart
Nutmeg proves to be an excellent tonic for the cardiovascular system. It increases the blood circulation and stimulates the heart functions.

Detoxifier For Kidney & Liver
Nutmeg oil is a great liver tonic, as it can remove the toxins therein. It is helpful in treating kidney infections and dissolves kidney stones also.

Induces Sleep
Research shows that nutmeg can beat insomnia. It boosts the level of serotonin, which helps induce relaxation in turn. You can incorporate it in your tea, coffee or herbal tea, even sprinkle a few seeds in your dessert.

Removes Bad Breath
Nutmeg oil is helpful in treating bad breath. It is also antiseptic in nature and helps cure toothaches and gum problems. It is because of this property that the oil is even used in many kinds of toothpaste. If you’re suffering from dental problems, incorporate nutmeg in your diet.

It’s an Aphrodisiac
Nutmeg is an excellent aphrodisiac. Around 18th century, it was used to treat male sexual dysfunctions. A recent study also confirms the aphrodisiac nature of this spice.

Treats Stomach Disorders
Nutmeg helps in getting rid of flatulence, diarrhea, and improves appetite as well. However, before using it for treating stomach disorders, consult a physician. This is because it is alleged that large doses of nutmeg can cause hallucination and in some cases, even death.

Pain Reliever
Nutmeg oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as pain reliever. If applied to the affected areas, the oil can treat joint and muscle pains. It can also reduce joint swelling and is helpful in treating rheumatic fever.

Used In Cough Syrup
Nutmeg is helpful in clearing up the congestion resulting from cold and thus, is widely used in cough syrups. It’s even helpful in aroma therapy.

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