Nutmeg Powder - Usage & Health Benefits
The nutmeg tree, Myristica fragrans, gives us two spices nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg powder has a characteristic soft and pleasant fragrance and a warm taste due to its essential oils, Nutmeg is a universal spice with immense uses and benefits; let us get to know more about it.
Uses of Nutmeg Powder
Nutmeg finds its presence both commercially and domestically. The domestic use of the nutmeg powder is in food preparation and as an herbal remedy; the commercial use is more varied.
Nutmeg powder is a exceptional spice used to flavor sweet and savory dishes. 2 to 3 teaspoons of the powder is equivalent to one whole nutmeg, as the spice is strong and expensive it should be used judiciously. It is used in many cuisines to flavor rice puddings, fruit salads, curries, gravies, rice, spice powders, pies, puddings, custards, soufflés, cookies, soups, sauces, baked goods, stewed fruits, breakfast cereals, ice cream, jams, and spice cakes. It complements egg dishes, slit pea, chicken or black beans and vegetables like cabbage, spinach, broccoli, beans, tomatoes, onions and eggplant. Commercially it is used in baked products, cheeses, cheese sauces confections, puddings, meats, sausages, sauces, and desserts. It is also a part of different beverages like coffee, milkshake, tea, etc. and traditional recipes like in mulled cider, mulled wine, and eggnog.
Nutmeg has been know as a therapeutic agent in many countries like India and China. The curative properties are due to its nutrient profile and active components. The spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium. It also contains B complex, C, and A vitamins along with flavonoids. The active component of the spice is ‘Eugenol’ it also contains other essential volatile oils like myristicin, elemicin, pinene, camphene and dipentene. It is known to possess anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, antoxidant,digestive and carminative.
Nutmeg oil is extracted from the powder and is widely used for the following reasons
- To scent soaps and perfumes
- In the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries to flavor tooth paste, cough syrups, and many drugs
- To relax muscles and relieve pain – especially rheumatic pain
- In aromatherapy to relive stress, anxiety, depression, and pain
Health benefits of Nutmeg Powder
Although the medicinal properties of nutmeg are not proven, still it has been used for centuries in the treatment and prevention of several health complaints. Some of these benefits are listed below.
- Stimulates appetite and aids digestion
- Relives intestinal gas, flatulence and clears digestive tract infections
- Reduces nausea, vomiting, and stomach uneasiness
- Boosts brain function and improves concentration - by improving blood circulation, reducing stress
- Detoxifies liver and kidneys
- Acts as a tonic for heart – reduces blood pressure, stimulates heart function, and increases circulation
- Cures insomnia - boosts serotonin production
- Analgesic – relieves pain especially joint and muscular pain
- Cures congestion, cold, cough, and flu
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