Nutmeg/Jaiphal

Nutmeg is one of the most popular spices throughout the world.   It was probably the only spice in the world for which wars were fought and warehouses full of nutmeg were burnt voluntarily to raise the prices artificially high and to have stronghold on it. For the coronation of an emperor in 16th century the streets were strewn of nutmeg to spread the aroma. Nutmeg was adopted on the national flag of Granada which shows their domination in its production. Such was the popularity of this spice.

The fruit upon drying is split open to reveal the nutmeg enveloped by mace. This mace is also used as spice. Nutmeg not only adds flavor to your dish but also gives innumerable health benefits. It has essential minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium and manganese that ensure strong immune system. It is also rich in a number of vitamins like B-complex and many flavonoid anti-oxidants like beta carotene essential for optimum health.

MEDICINAL BENEFITS

  • It has been used to relieve stress and anxiety. It is known to effectively stimulate the brain and improve concentration and keep focused.
  • Owing to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, it can relieve joint pains, muscle pain, arthritis and other ailments. Nutmeg oil too can be applied on the effected areas to get relief from pain and to relax muscles.
  • It improves blood circulation and treats kidney infections. Its anti-bacterial properties help effectively kill a number of cavity causing bacteria in the mouth.
  • A glass of milk with a pinch of nutmeg powder will give you good sleep. A few drops of nutmeg oil on your pillow too can do wonders to get you good sleep.
  • The Chinese use it to treat liver diseases, digestive disorders, diarrhea to ease abdominal pain and swelling owing to cold. It very effectively prevent and dissolves kidney stones.
  • Nutmeg oil contains eugenol which effectively treats tooth aches and is beneficial for heart too.
  • Take coarsely ground nutmeg add sesame oil to it and bring it to boil till the nutmeg turns dark in colour. Now after cooling strain and preserve the oil in a bottle. This oil can be applied externally to relieve rheumatic pain and sciatica.
  • Make nutmeg paste by grinding with water and then apply it on the area affected with eczema. This sooths the itching sensation and on repeated usage eczema can be treated.
  • The relaxing aroma of the nutmeg oil comforts the body, increases blood circulation and improves the condition of those with poor blood circulation.
  • Make paste of nutmeg add honey and apply to face. Within two days you will find clear skin and glow on your face. A little paste of nutmeg applied on blemishes can help reduce the redness and inflammation.
  • Add nutmeg paste to milk and apply evenly on the acne, wait for at least an hour and wash off with warm water and then with cold water simultaneously to close the pores. This also acts as a scrub to treat black heads.
  • Combined with honey nutmeg prevents skin aging and deters degradation of human tissues.
  • Nutmeg oil is a common ingredient in pharmaceutical items like tooth paste, cosmetics and cough syrup.
  • Mix a few pinches of nutmeg and baking soda, dip the brush in this and brush your teeth to whiten them and remove bad breath as well.

 

By Nibhanapudi Suguna

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