Another of my favourite spices, Nutmeg always brings me a feeling of joy just because of its distinctive smell as I grate it! It is so versatile and often I simply grate a little in a cup of hot Rice, Coconut, Oat or Good Hemp milk in the evening to bring relaxation; improved digestion and a good night’s sleep for the coming night! It is in the “pungent” category of foods and is great for balancing the lungs and large intestine as a result. It is best to freshly grate a nutmeg rather than relying on ready-ground alternatives as these tend to lose the efficacy and power over time.
Nutmeg features in a big way in the Mincemeat recipes and adds not only to their distinctive flavour, but also to the health benefits of these yummy Christmas treats.
So, to its many health benefits!
Relieves pain – there is a compound in nutmeg that is similar to menthol. This acts as a natural pain reliever so adding nutmeg to cooking can reduce any pain we may be suffering from in terms of wounds; injuries; strains; and also chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis and rheumatism
Soothes digestion – ground nutmeg retains its soluble fibre content. This is what helps to stimulate our digestion by promoting the vital peristaltic motion in the smooth muscles of our intestines. It also induces the secretion of various gastric and intestinal juices that ease the digestive process. It also helps to alleviate the discomfort of constipation as well as assimilating the nutrients from our food, making the resulting digestive process speedy and efficient
Strengthens cognitive function - There are various components in nutmeg in its essential oil, which are called myristicin and macelignan. These compounds have been scientifically proven to reduce the deterioration of our neural pathways and the cognitive function that typically afflicts people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Myristicin and macelignan have been proven to slow down these effects, and keep our brain functioning at a normal, healthy level
Detoxifies the body – Our liver and kidneys store many of the toxins which are accumulated in our body. Nutmeg can help eliminate them. It literally cleans the liver and kidneys of all the toxins that may be stored there from alcohol; drugs; pollution; food; or natural organic toxins. In addition to this, the active ingredients in nutmeg also help to dissolve kidney stones as well as increase the overall function and efficiency of our kidneys and liver
Boosts skin health - Herbal and traditional medicines have long used nutmeg to boost the appearance and health of our skin. Usually it is applied as a paste mixed with water or sometimes honey, which also has known benefits for skin health and care. It helps to reduce inflammation and irritation of the skin as well as promoting hydration and a smooth appearance. It also reduces the signs and marks from pox; boils and acne
Alleviates oral infections – There are active antibacterial components in nutmeg. This means that it helps to fight conditions like halitosis (bad breath). What it does is to kill the bacteria that causes this embarrassing condition. It also boosts the immunity of our gums and teeth
Reduces insomnia – I mentioned at the beginning of this section that I will often grate a little fresh nutmeg on to hot milk before I go to bed. It really does work and I find I sleep so much better if I do this! It is the high content of magnesium, which is the responsible element that works its magic in such a way. Magnesium is an essential mineral in the body that helps to reduce nerve tension, and even stimulates the release of serotonin, thus inducing a feeling of relaxation or sedation. What then happens is that the serotonin changes to melatonin in the brain, which is a sleep inducer, thus relieving people of insomnia and restlessness at night
It is believed to prevent leukaemia –One of the lesser known qualities of nutmeg is its potential use against cancerous cells. Scientific studies have shown that a certain type of compound (methanolic) in nutmeg and its essential oil, can actually induce cell death (apoptosis) in leukaemia cells. This therefore stops the spread and metastasis of this terrible variety of cancer that can commonly afflicts children
Improves blood circulation - The mineral content of potassium in nutmeg is exceptionally important as it is a vasodilator. This means that it relaxes our blood vessels. This, in turn, reduces blood pressure and lowers the strain on our cardiovascular system
Healthy bones – The calcium in nutmeg helps to boost the health of our bones by contributing to their repair and growth as well as relieving symptoms of osteoporosis.
The following high levels of nutrients; trace minerals and vitamins, which are also present in nutmeg also work synergistically to bring our body into balance:-