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Botanical Name: Myristica fragrans
Origin: Sri Lanka
Also known as
Myristica fragans, Nutmeg, Nutmeg tree
The nutmeg tree is a native of the Banda Islands, a cluster of small volcanic islands historically known as the Spice Islands and now part of the province of Molucca in Indonesia. Nutmeg isnt really a nut, but the kernel of an apricot-like fruit. The closely related mace is an arillus, a thin leathery tissue between the stone and the pulp. Mace and nutmeg have different tastes but similar uses in herbal medicine. As noted by Ginger Webb in Herbalgram (1996), natives of the Banda islands use nutmeg oil for treatment of flu. The oil is rubbed on the abdomen for stomachaches and on the forehead for headaches. Grated nutmeg seed, combined with eucalyptus oil, treats diarrhea. Nutmeg can be combined with citronella, cloves, ginger, and softened uncooked rice to make an ointment used in the treatment of rheumatism and other various limb and joint aches.
Essential oil containing camphene, p-cymene, phellandrene, terpinene, limonene, myrcene, linalool, geraniol, terpineol, myristicin, elemicin, safrol, eugenol and eugenol.
The aril (not the "nut"), ground to a fine powder. Buy mace from a reputable source that guarantees that the powder is not made from previously BWP (broken-wormy-punky) nuts. It's also better not to use an irradiated product. Irradiating mace or nutmeg breaks down the fatty acids that contain the essential oils that give nutmeg its aroma and flavor. Avoid irradiated mace for best quality.
Teas, tinctures, and liberally added to both food dishes and some beverages..
As an herbal medicine, mace and nutmeg powder are used to relieve or prevent flatulence and to break up chest congestion. Recent research shows that they may inhibit the growth of the rota-viruses associated with diarrhea in children. An article in the July 2005 edition of BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that alcohol extracts made with mace or nutmeg may help treat erectile dysfunction. Mace, more than nutmeg, has an antioxidant effect in the liver, helping it conserve glutathione and increasing protection against free radicals.
Mace is a very weak hallucinogen; caution and moderation should be exercised.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.