Nutmegs, apart from their culinary inclusions, also play an important role in providing nutrients to the body and hence are included in daily meals. It is a tropical plant and grows very tall. Its fruit size is similar to that of an apricot. Nutmeg is also referred as ‘Jaiphal’ in Hindi, ‘Jajikayi’ in Telugu, ‘Jaadhikai’ in Tamil, ‘Jathikka’ in Malayalam, ‘Jeerake’ in Kannada, ‘Jayiphal’ in Gujarati, and ‘Jayphal’ in Marathi.
Other than having a warm flavour that warms the heart, the other uses of nutmeg are as follows.
1. Disease preventive compounds:
Nutmegs are known to have positive effects on the body owing to their general plant derived compounds, which possess the capability to prevent diseases. This is one of the best nutmeg uses.
2. Anti oxidant properties:
Nutmegs have antioxidants that are very useful in smooth functioning of the body. Nutmegs provide antioxidants, which prevent free radical formation, capable of triggering unwanted reactions in the body. These reactions may lead to many serious compound formations and may even turn out to be cancerous.
Anti-depressant, anti-fungal properties
Some of the active components found in nutmegs are capable of preventing fungal and depression-initiating activities in the body.
This aromatic spice has been used as an aphrodisiac since ages and also has hormone stimulating properties.
Nutmeg oil contains eugenol which is used in dentistry treatments to cure toothache. The oil is also used for body massages to cure joint pains.
Nausea can be cured by the consumption of fresh nutmegs with honey.
6. Gastritis and indigestion:
Nutmegs with other ingredients, such as honey, are a good remedy for diseases like gastritis and indigestion. The improvement in digestion boosts metabolic reactions in the body.
7. Optimum health:
The vitamins and anti-oxidants present in nutmegs are also a part of the body’s nutrition cycle that helps maintain optimum health by supplying necessary nutrients.
8. Nervous System:
Nutmeg oil is generally used for preventing digestive system disorders but is also beneficial for proper functioning of the nervous system of the body and must be imbibed in our daily diet.
9. Red blood cell production:
The iron content in the nutmegs improves the red blood cells count in our blood.
10. Blood pressure:
Copper is also an important nutrient in nutmegs which helps to maintain the blood pressure and consequently helps in the balance of heart rate too.
Skin Benefits Of Nutmeg:
Do you follow a skin care regimen? If you do, then you can try and use nutmeg as a skin care product! There are lots of benefits of using nutmeg, especially for the skin and here are some of them:
11. For Healthy And Glowing Skin:
You can get a healthy and smooth skin with the use of nutmeg. The oil extract of nutmeg is used for making lotions, scrubs and cream. It is an ideal ingredient to enhance the facial beauty.
12. Removes And Heals Acne:
You can make home-made natural scrubs using powdered orange lentil and nutmeg. These scrubs work amazingly when it comes to removing blackheads.
13. Fights Skin Infection And Signs Of Aging:
Nutmeg is widely used for its anti-bacterial and analgesic properties. It helps in reducing wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of aging.
Hair Benefits Of Nutmeg:
Your hair care regime too can benefit from nutmeg. Here are a few good things nutmeg can do for your hair:
14. For Shiny And Healthy Hair:
Nutmeg oil can be used for hair care. It helps in quick hair growth and adds a lustrous shine. This essential oil is used in various hair products and has numerous advantages.
15. Reduces Hair Fall:
Nutmeg works effectively to tone your hair. It also increases blood circulation in the scalp and helps hair growth. Keeping the hair shiny and silky, it adds volume to the hair.
How To Use Nutmeg:
Now that you know how good nutmeg can be for your skin and hair, the question arises on how to use it! Well, we have a few recipes that you can try at home to get beautiful skin and hair!
a. Nutmeg, Honey, And Cinnamon Mixture:
When nutmeg is combined with honey and cinnamon, it makes a powerful antimicrobial and antiseptic paste. Mix each of the ingredients mentioned above in equal proportion and apply the mixture every morning. Keep it for around 10-15 minutes and then rinse with cold water. It helps in alleviating acne and reducing scars.
b. Nutmeg Powder And Honey Paste:
Make a paste using nutmeg powder and honey. Apply it on the face and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water. This mixture works effectively to cure blemishes.
c. Nutmeg Powder And Milk Facial:
Mix 1 spoon of milk (toned milk should be used for oily skin and full fat milk is good for dry skin) along with nutmeg and apply the mixture every day on your face. Leave it for 30 minutes and then wash with cold water. This can provide you with facial effect.
d. Nutmeg And Baking Soda:
Nutmeg can be used along with baking soda to form a medium consistency paste. It should be applied on the face on a regular basis. Within 2 to 3 days, you will see that the redness and puffiness on your face is gone.
e. Pure Nutmeg Paste:
Whole nutmegs can be grated and used to form a paste. The grated nutmeg will dissolve immediately in water and form a paste. Cinnamon can be added to the paste, but it is optional. Apply the paste and keep it for an hour. Then rinse it off with cold water. Use this for at least 2 to 3 weeks continuously. This will help in making your skin smooth and supple. It can also treat acne and blemishes on your skin.
f. Nutmeg Scrub:
Use nutmeg powder and masoor dal powder for scrubbing your face regularly. This home-made scrub is highly effective in getting rid of blackheads as well as blocked and clogged pores.Nutmeg and Milk Powder:
For curing acne, nutmeg scrub can be used. Make a scrub using a pinch of nutmeg powder and milk powder.
g. Nutmeg Oil:
Nutmeg oil is used as a volatile essential oil. It has a thin consistency with a spicy aroma. It is used in hair dyes and homemade creams, lotions and soaps. Nutmeg oil should be taken daily. A standard dosage of 4 to 5 drops is enough. You can use it in milk shakes or simply take it with a spoon of honey. It is advised that one takes this oil in empty stomach for getting the maximum benefits. There are no side-effects of using nutmeg oil. This oil is used to make different types of homemade soaps.
How To Select Nutmeg?
There are two ways to buy nutmeg—ground nutmeg comes in plastic, glass or cardboard containers and is ready for sprinkling. In order to get the flavor, it is suggested to use ground nutmeg within a few days of opening the container. But whole nutmeg is the best option for purchase. It can be grated using a rasp-style grater. Its nutty, spicy flavor can be maintained only when it is kept in its original form. This ingredient is easily available at the supermarkets and is quite costly.
How To Store Nutmeg?
When nutmeg is grounded, it loses the oil, which provides the taste and flavor. So, it is always suggested to use grated nutmeg in order to enjoy the fresh oil. When it comes to storing nutmeg, one should always use an airtight container. Nutmeg should be stored in a dark and cool place.
Ground nutmeg may taste and smell good when you open the container for the first time. But once the lid or cap is opened, the quality of the powder starts to deteriorate. Whole nutmegs, on the other hand, can last for several years without losing any of its flavor or aroma!
Tips For Usage:
When compared to mace, nutmeg is slightly sweeter in taste. It is widely used in making bechamel sauce and goes well with stewed and baked foods. They can also be used in curries, eggnog, fruit salads, sauces, punches, vegetables and pasta. A single whole nutmeg can yield around 2 to 3 spoons of powdered nutmeg. This can be substituted with mace, but there will be a difference in the flavor as well as the end results.
Nutmeg can be used in savory dishes as well as in cheese dishes, spinach, soups, ravioli, pumpkin dishes etc. They are used mainly in vegetarian cuisine. They can also be used in haggis, stews and sausages as well as in porridge and curries. While cooking green vegetables like kale, chard, spinach etc., a pinch of nutmeg can be used. A pinch of nutmeg can be sprinkled over the latter or cappuccino froth, milkshake froth, soy and milk smoothies, chai froth, mulled wine etc.
In some countries, it is also brewed with black coffee for its sweet taste and strong flavor. Nutmeg can also be used in all kinds of sweet dishes. For certain type of sweet dishes, using nutmeg is an ideal choice. It includes rhubarb, custard, cake, vanilla pastries and puddings.
Make sure that you do not use nutmeg and its extraction in high quantity. Use it according to the given directions. A few pinches of ground nutmeg are enough to add aroma and taste to the dishes, whereas, 4 to 5 drops are enough, when using it in the form of oil. Whole nutmeg can also be used in grated form, but use it in a limited quantity. Make sure that you purchase high quality nutmeg if you really want to enjoy its flavor and taste. Wrap the remaining grated or powdered nutmeg in a plastic bag and then store inside an airtight container. This will help retain the freshness and invigorating aroma of the nuts.
The quality of the nutmeg will determine the flavor it gives. But one thing is for sure—nutmeg can do magic for your skin and hair. Go ahead, buy some today!