Thursday 6 August, 2020

Botanical Roots: Why you should eat nutmeg

Nutmeg (Photo: iStock)

Nutmeg (Photo: iStock)

Nutmeg is a popular spice that comes from the seed of the evergreen nutmeg tree, scientifically classified as Myristica fragrans

The tree is native to the Maluku or Spice Islands of Indonesia and is the only tree that is the source of two distinct spices in the world. It is commonly grown in the Caribbean and other tropical areas of the world.

The nutmeg is known to contribute to a number of health benefits.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, US National Library of Medicine, nutmeg oil derived from the seed of the nutmeg tree has been proven to be an analgesic and a chronic pain reliever. 

Nutmeg has been used as a home remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia, and is known to have medicinal properties to treat digestive issues such as indigestion and stomach ulcers.  

The spice contains volatile oils like myristicin, eugenol, and elemicin, all of which have a therapeutic effect on the prevention of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

Nutmeg is also proven to have antibacterial properties and has the potential to inhibit the activity of bacteria which causes periodontitis which is associated with tooth decay. 

In a 2012 study conducted by Dr. Deepak Kumar Khajuria and his team, from the Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy, Bangalore, India, it was found that nutmeg extracts demonstrated an antidepressant activity. Moreover, it also has fewer side effects than conventional drugs.

A pinch of nutmeg has also been proven to stabilise blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and also helps to contain the effects of diarrhea.

Studies are now being conducted to confirm that this wonder spice is also an effective property to fight against the growth of cancerous cells in the body.  

When used appropriately, as a spice, the benefits outweigh the negatives. Use a pinch in your cornmeal porridge, eggnog and smoothies and know you will be healthier for it.

Some of this content was taken from

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