What is Jamaican Nutmeg?
Nutmeg is known around the world as a popular spice but there is much more to the nutmeg than being a favorite in the kitchen. Nutmeg has a distinctive fragrance and a slightly sweet taste. Unbeknown to many is the fact that nutmeg features a host of health benefits, making it useful for improving general heath while also serving as a remedy for a number of aliments. The nutmeg seed is enclosed in a firm and fleshy shell, which when dry,is covered by red or brown veins. Nutmeg also contains an abundance of essential oils used in both the pharmaceutical and perfumery industries.
How to use Nutmeg?
The nutmeg seed is removed from its outer protective casing before being grated and generally used a spiced. Nutmeg is used to add flavor to meats, baked goods, sauces, sausages, vegetables and juices such as eggnog, cucumber and carrot juice. Nutmeg, in its powdered, form has also been packaged into sachets thus eliminating the process of grating the spice. Nutmeg also contains an essential oil that is extracted by the process of steam distillation; the oil is comprised primarily of camphene, pinene and dipentene. This oil is used as a substitute for the powder in some dishes, as it leaves no residue, but primarily by pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies. The nutmeg oil is also used in the making of toothpastes, tonics and as a major ingredient in certain cough syrups.
Nutmeg, like all other spices and herbs, should be used in moderation as to not overpower the dish or drink with its flavor. Another reason to consume nutmeg in moderation is the fact that it contains a natural hallucinogenic named myristicin. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should also avoid using nutmeg.
Health benefits of Nutmeg
Studies conducted by The University of the West Indies showed that nutmeg contained antibacterial eugenol, along with anti-carcinogenic properties. Anticarcinogens reduce the occurrence of cancers and help to reduce the severity of cancers that have already occurred. Nutmeg is also an effective sedative making it useful for treating abdominal pain, muscle pain, arthritis and rheumatism. It is also used to reduce flatulence, improve appetite and aid digestion. Nutmeg’s antibacterial properties also make it effective in killing cavity causing bacteria in the mouth while its oil is also used to curtail toothaches. Other health benefits of nutmeg include uses as a sleep aid, relief for indigestion and also as a detox for the liver and kidney.
NOTE: We highly recommend that before using any herbal medications you should consult your health care provider or medical doctor for professional advice.
Disclaimer: All herbs and spices listed on http://www.islandherbsandspices.com/ or sold for medical and household use only, again we advice that before using any HERBS for medical purposes, please consult your physician.