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Amazing Health Properties of Nutmeg

Updated on July 13, 2012

Nutmeg, a spice, has a history dating back to at least the 1st century as witnessed by the Roman historical writings of Pliny. It is actually the seed from an evergreen tree. In scientific circles the most common type is called Myristica fragrans and produces both nutmeg and mace. Today, nutmeg is produced in India, Malaysia, Caribbean islands, New Guinea and Sri Lanka.

In medieval times nutmeg was highly valued in Europe as a spice used in cuisine and like other herbs and spices at the time it was extremely expensive. A few hundred years ago, a small amount would have cost a literal fortune.

Not only was it a popular spice, nutmeg has also been prized for its health and medicinal properties. Studies have shown it can help lower blood pressure, relieve stomach cramps, stop diarrhea and cure a host of other problems. The essential oil of the nutmeg is considered the most effective part of the plant. Here are some other interesting facts about nutmeg:

· The ancient Greeks and Romans used it to stimulate mental activity.

· It has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat joint and muscle pain when the oil is massaged into an affected area.

· Ancient Chinese used it for stomach pain and reducing inflammation, such as joint swelling.

· Holistic medical practitioners consider it to be effective in removing toxins from the liver.

· Helps dissolve kidney stones and relieve infections.

· Increases blood circulation and stimulates the cardio-vascular system.

· Good for digestion and promotes appetite.

· Relieves gas, stomach aches and vomiting.

· Thought to help with asthma, headaches, fever and bad breath.

· Used in some cultures as an aphrodisiac.

· A little ground nutmeg mixed with milk makes a good acne paste.

· Mixed with warm milk can help with insomnia.

· Applied to the gums, nutmeg oil helps relieve tooth aches and sore gums.

Many have also found it fights the common cold and accompanying cough. It is frequently used as a cough syrup ingredient. It should be noted however, there are some risks. In high doses it can be toxic. Never consume more than 25 grams in a day. It was even rumored to ward off the plague and cause pregnant women to self-abort.


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    • stayingalivemoma profile image

      Valerie Washington 5 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

      Hi JY3502: It is actually true that nutmeg helps with diarrhea. My fiancee is from the South and one day I had horrible diarrhea and his mom told me to take a teaspoon of nutmeg....dry...and then wash it down with some water. Yuck! It tasted horrible....but, it DID stop the diarrhea. True story!! Great hub! Voted up and useful, interesting.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      An acne paste, eh? Some teens might like that instead of paying for Proactiv.

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      I didn't know either until I made it all up. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Pam, I'm planning to shower with it also. LOL

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      What a wealth of information about nutmeg. I think I should sprinkle it on everything I eat. Very well written and useful hub.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Interesting article. I don't use numeg much, I will have to look in to fixing that. Voted up and interesting.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 5 years ago from India

      I knew that nutmeg is good.

      But did not know the details

      Thanks for sharing

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 5 years ago from Northern California

      Your article is interesting and points out many uses of nutmeg which were unknown to me. I will take another look at adding nutmeg to my applesauce.