The Power of Nutmeg
Wow! Why didn't I ever thought of writing this topic earlier? Thought about it...... It was a great idea when I actually drank nutmeg juice couple of days ago. So I googled to see whether there is such topic or not. I read it in Wikipedia website ...... the whole lot of it. To make it easier to read ..... I have summarised for easier understanding.
History/Region of Origin
The Roman philosopher Pliny wrote about Nutmeg and mace in the first century. Indian Vedic literature recommended Nutmeg for bad breath, headaches, and fever. Arabian writing mentions its uses as an aphrodisiac and stomach medicine. Middle Eastern traders brought Nutmeg and mace to Southern Europe in the sixth century, and they were wellknown by the twelfth century from Italy to Denmark. The Portuguese found Nutmeg trees in the Molucca Islands, and dominated the Nutmeg and mace trade until the Dutch overcame it in 1602. Unaware that the spices came from one tree, one Dutch official ordered the Moluccan islanders to plant more mace trees, and fewer Nutmeg trees. Nutmeg production spread to the West Indies, Trinidad, and Grenada under the British in the 1800s.
Encased in a molttled yellow which is edible of a nutmeg is the nutmeg seed, the approximate size and shape of a small peach. When the fruit is split into half will reveal a net-like, bright red covering over the seed. This is the aril which is collected, dried and sold as mace. Under the aril is a dark shiny nut-like pit, and inside that is the oval shaped seed which is the nutmeg. Nutmegs are usually sold without the mace or hard shell. They are oval, about 25 mm (1 in) in length, lightly wrinkled and dark brown on the outside, lighter brown on the inside. Nutmeg is sold whole or ground, and is labeled as ‘East Indian’ or ‘West Indian’ indicating its source. Whole nutmeg may be coated with lime to protect against insects and fungus, though this practice is giving way to other forms of fumigation.
The tonic principle is Myristicin. Oil of Nutmeg is used to conceal the taste of various drugs and as a local stimulant to the gastro-intestinal tract.
Uses of Nutmeg
Powdered nutmeg is rarely given alone, though it enters into the composition of a number of medicines. The expressed oil is sometimes used externally as a gentle stimulant, and it was once an ingredient of the Emplastrum picis.
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