Nutmeg, which is the seed of a tree that is native to the Banda Islands off the coast of Indonesia, is widely used in cooking and has valued for its medicinal properties for centuries. Originally, the Banda Islands were the only place in the world where nutmeg could be found and the spice became a valuable commodity. The healing reputation of nutmeg was so great in Elizabethans times that it was even believed to have been able to ward off the plague. Today, nutmeg is widely available in both powder form and as an essential oil. Although the health benefits of nutmeg are not widely known, they are in fact quite considerable. Read on, and you will find out why the spice used to be valued so highly, with these ten amazing benefits of nutmeg.
1. Relieves pain
Nutmeg can be used to treat inflammation and pain, which is why it is one of the staple ingredients on traditional Chinese medicine. It can be taken internally to treat ailments, like headaches or abdominal pain, and the oil can be rubbed into aching muscles and joints to reduce the pain of such conditions like arthritis.
2. Helps you sleep
If you have trouble getting off to sleep at night, then nutmeg and warm milk is an old remedy that many people trust. Nutmeg has a mild relaxing effect and warm milk is calming and comforting. Just warm up some milk (or almond milk) in a pan, sprinkle a little nutmeg powder over the top, and add honey to taste, and you will have the prefect, relaxing bedtime drink.
3. Tonic for the brain
The ancient Romans and Greeks valued nutmeg for its ability to boost mental powers. It is said that nutmeg has the power to stimulate the brain, boost energy levels, and help to alleviate the symptoms of stress. It can also improve your concentration, so it could be a useful pick-me-up tonic for when you are working late, or studying for an exam.
4. Treats toothache
One of amazing health benefits of nutmeg is that nutmeg essential oil can be an effective way to treat a toothache. It won’t heal a cavity, but it will certainly give you some temporary relief from the pain until you can get to a dentist. Just put a few drops of nutmeg essential oil on a clean cotton swab and dab it on the painful area of the gums and it will soothe the pain and reduce any swelling. Nutmeg also has antibacterial properties, so it can be used to treat bad breath too.
5. Clears up acne and blackheads
The antibacterial properties of nutmeg make it a good treatment for acne. Add nutmeg powder to milk to make a paste and then gently rub the paste into your face and leave it to sit for about an hour before you wash it off with warm water. It will fight the bacteria that causes acne and work as an exfoliator, which will help to unclog your pores and lift blackheads from your skin.
6. It is a good source of antioxidants
Another one of fabulous health benefits of nutmeg is that it is a good source of antioxidants, so adding nutmeg to your cooking will boost your intake of antioxidants, which we all need to help prevent free radicals damaging the cells of our body. Excessive free radical activity can cause a range of disorders, including cancer and heart disease. It is also what is partly responsible for the ageing of the skin and the formation of lines and wrinkles.
7. Keeps hair shiny and healthy
You can also use nutmeg oil as a part of your hair care routine. It is often used in store bought hair care products, but you can also use it as an ingredient of your natural DIYs . Nutmeg oil nourishes hair and brings a shine to it, it also helps to promote the growth of new hair. It increases the blood circulation to the scalp, which encourages new growth and gives more volume to your hair.
8. Relieves diarrhoea
One of great health benefits of nutmeg is that it is very good for settling the stomach and relieving diarrhoea. It has been used for this purpose in traditional folk medicine for hundreds of years, but there is now also some scientific evidence to back up the folklore. Research that was published in the journal ‘Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology’ demonstrated that the nutmeg had effectively reduced diarrhoea in test subjects.
9. Detoxes the liver and kidneys
We all take in toxins from the air that we breathe, the water we drink, and the food that we eat, and the liver and the kidneys play an important role in filtering those toxins out of our systems. Many people believe that nutmeg can help the liver and the kidneys remove toxins from our bodies. It is also believed that nutmeg can help prevent kidney stones forming.
10. A good source of minerals
And finally, another one of fantastic health benefits of nutmeg is that adding nutmeg to your foods will provide you with a good boost of some of the minerals that we need for healthy bones and a properly functioning nervous system. A sprinkling of nutmeg will supply you with calcium, iron, manganese and potassium.