Nutmeg – Culinary and Medicinal
GRASONVILLE, MD – Thursday morning – Nutmeg is a wonderful aromatic spice. The nutmeg tree, which can grow up to 60 feet tall, is native to the Molucca Islands in the South Pacific. The tree produces a peach shaped fruit known as the nutmeg apple which is discarded for the seed inside. The fruit splits when ripe to expose a pecan sized nut wrapped in a bright red netting. The netting which when dried is yellow in color is called mace. Mace is used in Indian and Asian cuisine and is also used in baked goods. Mace is milder in flavor than nutmeg. Nutmeg is used for seasoning vegetables, white sauces, pasta fillings and meat dishes. Of course, we are most familiar with nutmeg as the wonderful flavor in pumpkin pie and eggnog. Nutmeg loses its flavor quickly when powdered so it is best to use the whole nutmeg and grate with a nutmeg grater.
Medicinally, nutmeg is good for the cardiovascular system, promotes concentration, reduces joint inflammation, is good for diarrhea and upset stomach. Be aware that nutmeg is toxic in large doses so don’t use more than 2 tablespoons of grated nutmeg or 10 drops of essential oil a day. Also nutmeg and nutmeg essential oil have other cautions so be sure to check out the cautions before using.
Nutmeg essential oil is used for digestion, bloat, dyspepsia, sea sickness and muscle pains. It is a stimulant and is also good for nervous and intellectual fatigue. This oil can also produce colorful and intense dreams.
Nutmeg Tea (for upset stomach)
Add a small pinch of nutmeg to peppermint tea or sprinkle nutmeg over one tablespoon of honey to soothe an upset stomach.