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Nutmeg (Jaiphal) & Nutmeg Essential Oil - Health & Nutritional Benefits

Updated on December 30, 2015
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Nutmeg Fruit

Nutmeg Fruit
Nutmeg Fruit | Source

Nutmeg, Seed And Mace

A Cut Section Of Nutmeg Fruit Showing The Seed And Mace (Javitri)
A Cut Section Of Nutmeg Fruit Showing The Seed And Mace (Javitri) | Source

About Nutmeg (Jaiphal) & Mace (Javitri)

Latin Name : Myristica fragrans

Nutmeg is known as Jaiphal in India. It is a spice that has been used in India since centuries not only as a spice but as a medicinal spice that allays many diseases.

Nutmeg, a native to Moluccas island in Indonesia, is widely cultivated today in tropical countries including India, China, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean and Malaysia.

Nutmeg trees are evergreen & grow to about 60-70 feet in height. Male and female trees are separate but they are not distinguishable till the time of maturity or flowering which takes place between 6-8 years. The trees offer fruits for about 70 years, with about 3 harvests per season.

The flowers are light yellow colored and bell shaped. Fruits are round to oblong in shape. The seeds are the nutmeg that we associate with the spice. The nutmeg is enclosed within a thick husky covering.that splits when the fruit matures.

The seed or nutmeg is covered by a red net like covering that hugs the seed tightly. This is the other spice Mace, which is known as Javitri in India.

It is one tropical fruit that offers 2 spices - Nutmeg (Jaiphal) & Mace (Javitri). Nutmeg & Mace are 2 excellent aromatic medicines as well which have almost like benefits except that mace has stronger detoxifying properties.

Nutmegs are of many kinds but the smoother, bigger,and heavier ones, are far superior to the soft, rough, smaller sized, and lighter ones.

When nutmeg is stored in ghee it stays good for years together. Both Jaiphal & Javitri provide very useful essential oils that are used medicinally.

Nutmegs from China are considered the best.

Nutmeg has traditionally been used as a spice in Indian cooking and is one of the ingredients of Garam Masala.

Nutmeg Spice

Nutmeg Spice
Nutmeg Spice | Source

Dried Mace (Javitri)

Dried Mace (Javitri)
Dried Mace (Javitri) | Source

Nutrients In Nutmeg

Nutmeg contains trimyristin, myristicin, elemicin, eugenol and safrole as the major volatile oils.

Nutmeg is very rich in copper, manganese and also contains good amounts of folates, thiamine, pyridoxine, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.

It is rich in potassium and low in sodium.

Nutrient Value Of Nutmeg

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), Ground form, Nutritional value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
525 Kcal
49.29 g
5.84 g
Total Fat
36.31 g
0 mg
Dietary Fiber
20.8 g
76 mcg
1.299 mg
0.160 mg
0.057 mg
0.346 mg
102 IU
Vitamin C
3 mg
16 mg
350 mg
184 mg
1.027 mg
3.04 mg
183 mg
2.900 mg
213 mg
2.15 mg
16 mcg
90 mcg
0 mcg

Health Benefits Of Nutmeg (Jaiphal)

Nutmeg is warm by nature. It benefits the voice, increases digestive fire and aids in digestion, kills worms, and allays Kapha & Vayu - the 2 doshas, as per Ayuveda.

Jaiphal has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, analgesic, detoxitfying, pain relieving, stimulating, libido enhancing, anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti-cancer properties among several others.

According to Unani medicine Jaiphal & Javitri (Nutmeg & Mace) stimulate, bring on sleep, increase digestive fire, urine output, increase libido and promote health.

Nutmeg is used to

  • promote strength and vitality,
  • ease and calm the mind and anxiety,
  • allay respiratory problems,
  • ensure good blood circulation,
  • treat dental pain,
  • regulate blood sugar and blood clotting,
  • help in absorption of calcium and bone development,
  • repair cells and helps in formation of tissues.

It offers many other health benefits.

What Does "Rubbing Nutmeg" Mean?

Wherever it is mentioned " Rub nutmeg with a particular ingredient, like water, milk or any other" it means rubbing a little whole nutmeg on an abrasive surface & adding a little of the mentioned ingredient to make a paste.

In olden days this was done on a " Sil " - a rectangular, pitted and dotted stone slab used to grind masalas.

Some Ayurvedic Home Remedies With Nutmeg (Jaiphal)

Some Ayurvedic natural (home) remedies with Nutmeg are:

For Facial blemishes, Black Marks, Spots & Pimples

Rub nutmeg with milk and apply as a pack. It removes spots, cleans and clears the complexion.


For headache due to cold, spread a little nutmeg paste on the forehead.


Rub it with water and drink this water 3 times a day, to control it. If there is gas/bloating too, rub some dry ginger along with jaiphal.

If there is increased thirst, vomiting, sleeplessness along with diarrhea, suck on a piece of nutmeg.

Indigestion & Diarrhea Due To Indigestion

Grind 1 nutmeg with gur (jaggery) and make pea sized pills. suck on one every 30 minutes, for relief.


Add 10 nutmegs to desi ghee and roast till they turn golden brown. Grind them and then sieve them. Add 2 cups of wheat flour and a little ghee, and roast again. Now add powdered brown sugar as per taste.

Take 1 tsp of this every morning on empty stomach for relief.


Rub Nutmeg with lemon juice and lick the paste. It brings clear motion and relieves constipation.


Rub nutmeg with water; then add sesame oil to it and heat it well. Then cool it and massage the back with this to get relief from pain.


Rub with water or ghee and apply on the eyelashes to induce sleep.

Increased Thirst In Any Disease

Keep a piece of nutmeg in the mouth to lessen it.

Dental Pain

A cotton bud dipped in nutmeg oil and kept on a decayed tooth helps to relieve pain.


Mix a little nutmeg powder with ground masoor dal (whole brown/pink lentils) and scrub the face with it.

To Lighten Acne Marks

Mix a little nutmeg powder with honey. Make a paste and apply on the marks. Wash off after 10-15 minutes.

Swelling & Joint Pains

Mix nutmeg/mace oil in mustard oil and massage swollen and painful joints with this. This brings warmth, perspiration and loosens arthritic joints.


Nutmeg (Jaiphal) is harmful if taken in excess. It can intoxicate, spin the head and can even cause loss of conciousness. Even half a Nutmeg can intoxicate.

Excess & repeated doses of nutmeg can make semen thin and a person impotent.

Jaiphal (Numeg) and Javitri (Mace) or their oils should not be used in fever, high BP, conditions of high body heat (Pitta) and burns.

Pregnant women & children ought to avoid it.

Nutmeg Essential Oil

Nutmeg Essential Oil
Nutmeg Essential Oil | Source

Nutmeg Essential Oil

Nutmeg essential oil is produced from the egg shaped seed of the nutmeg fruit.

Nutmeg essential oil is a volatile oil with a sweet but warm and spicy temperament and was used traditionally by the civilizations of the bygone days for treating a variety of health issues from digestive to intestinal to respiratory to inflammatory to stress etc.

Egyptians embalmed corpses with nutmeg essential oil as it has preservative properties. More famously it was used to keep plague at bay during Elizabethan times. Today this oil is also added to cosmetic & dental products.

Nutmeg essential oil provides detoxifying, anti inflammatory, stimulating and calming effects as well as anti cancer & anti pathogen action among other benefits.

Among the many beneficial components present in nutmeg essential oil are a variety of phytochemicals like flavonoids, phenols, tannins, alkaloids, plant steroids and glycosides. This, in effect, makes it a very good and widely acting anti infective agent.

As nutmeg essential oil is very concentrated it is always diluted with a carrier oil before using it. Oils like almond oil, olive oil, and coconut oil make good carrier oils.

In aromatherapy, nutmeg essential oil is used to treat a number of health conditions like digestive issues, circulatory problems, anxiety ,fatigue, joint and muscle pains to name a few.

Health Benefits Of Nutmeg Essential Oil

Health issues that can find relief with nutmeg essential oil are :

  • Indigestion and flatulence
  • Muscular and Joint pains
  • Colds, asthma and like respiratory problems
  • Bad breath
  • Urinary tract infections, inflammations of the bladder and kidneys as well
  • Insomnia
  • Impotence - it nourishes the adrenal glands
  • Toxicity issues - it detoxifies the liver & kidneys, dissolves stones & lowers uric acid
  • Relieves menstrual cramps
  • Acts like a tonic for the brain and stimulates it, removes stress, anxiety, depression & fatigue and improves concentration

Precautions With Nutmeg Essential Oil

As nutmeg essential oil is very concentrated it is always diluted with a carrier oil before using it. Oils like almond oil, olive oil, and coconut oil make good carrier oils.

Persons with epilepsy, pregnant women and children should not use nutmeg essential oil.

Overdosing can lead to vomiting, convulsions and delirium.

Prepare Nutmeg Infused Oil At Home

A very mild nutmeg infused oil for home use, a much gentler and safer oil, can be made by you at home. You can use this to treat muscle and joint pain.

This oil is cheaper, easy to make and does not require much effort or skill. The procedure is outlined below.

You will need :

  • Grapeseed oil as carrier
  • whole nutmeg seeds
  • Pestle & mortar
  • Measuring cup
  • 8 oz Mason Jar
  • Muslin cloth
  • Funnel
  • Dark colored glass jar with lid

To prepare :

  1. Crush the nutmegs coarsely
  2. Put 1/2 cup of these in a mason jar or any jar with a tight lid will do fine.
  3. Add enough grapeseed oil to completely submerge the crushed nutmegs
  4. Close the jar and shake well. Keep in the sun for 48 hours but give a shake every 12 hours
  5. After 48 hours strain out the oil using a muslin cloth. Discard the used nutmegs
  6. Add the oil back to the mason jar and add fresh crushed nutmegs.
  7. Repeat steps 4 to 6
  8. Keep repeating these steps till you get a fragrance to your preference
  9. Use the funnel to strain out the Nutmeg Infused oil into the dark colored glass container. Seal tight
  10. Store in cool dark place tightly capped. It will stay good for 6 months to 1 year

Use the oil to relieve joint & muscle pains. Massage daily with it.

Adapted from :The Coco Magazine.


The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.



© 2015 Rajan Singh Jolly


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    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks you Anita.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      3 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      Very interesting and informative hub. So many health benefits.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Absolutely, Devika. Thanks.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Nutmeg is a unique spice. A helpful spice for many ailments.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @teaches12345 - I appreciate your comments and thanks for stopping by.

      @Thelma - good to hear you use nutmeg a lot. I appreciate your sharing this hub as well as leaving a comment.

      @ Vellur- thanks Nithya.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      Useful and informative hub about nutmeg, thank you for sharing.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      5 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Nutmeg is one of the most spices I use in cooking and baking. Thanks for sharing this very informative hub Rajan. As always, helpful. Voted up and shared.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I must use this spice more often in foods. I have found new uses for it after reading your article.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @billybuc, thanks for appreciating as always and being my morale booster friend. Have a nice day.

      @MsDora, I'm glad you found the nutmeg oil recipe useful. Hope it helps. Thanks for being a regular reader of my hubs. Hope you are well.

      @Chitrangada, thank you my friend. It is always a pleasure to see you visit my hubs and leave so many words of appreciation. Thank you.

      @Flourish, it's good to see so many people are using nutmeg. It always benefits in so many ways we may not be aware of. Appreciate the stopping by. Good to see you after so long.

      @Marlene, thank you for being here and good to know you use nutmeg in cooking. I'm glad the information is appreciated. Have a wonderful day.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      5 years ago from USA

      This is very enlightening. I use nutmeg for seasoning, and I am happy to see that nutmeg has many other uses, as well.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      I had no idea where nutmeg came from (the spice store?) so I'm glad I know now. Excellent information. I love the taste of nutmeg and use it as a secret ingredient in some homemade soups.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful and informative article about Nutmeg/ Jaiphal. I use it quite often in cooking the Indian delicacies.

      Its benefits in curing pimples is tried and tested. But you have mentioned many other benefits which I didn't know.

      Thank you and as always a wonderful and comprehensive hub by you!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks especially for the recipe for nutmeg oil. I intend to try it. I use nutmeg for flavor, and I'm glad to learn all these benefits. The smell also does something good for me. Thanks again for the information.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Always a useful and interesting read, my friend. Thank you, and blessings to you always.


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