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Nutmeg

Nutmeg
Nutmeg or Jaiphal is a seed that can be ground and is commonly used as a spice. The fleshy red net-like skin cover on the seed kernel of Nutmeg is known as Mace or Javitri which is also used as a spice.
Nutmeg helps reduce anxiety as well as depression due to its antidepressant property. Its intake as a spice in your regular diet helps enhance digestion. Moreover, since ages, Nutmeg has been used as a home remedy to manage diarrhea and gas in babies. It also helps reduce inflammation and gives relief from joint pain.
Nutmeg is extensively used as part of a number of Ayurvedic medicines and formulations used to promote sexual health.
Nutmeg butter, a fat derived from the seed, is used in perfumery and toothpastes. Applying Nutmeg powder along with honey or milk on your skin helps control excess oil and removes pigmentation[2-4][6].

What are the synonyms of Nutmeg?

Myristica fragrans, Jatisasya, Jatiphala, Jaiphal, Kanivish, Jaitri, Jayfar, Jadikai, Jaykai, Jaidikai, Jafal, Jatika, Sathikkai, Jathikkai, Jatikkai, Jadhikai, Jadhikkai, Jajikaya, Jauzbuwa, Javitri[1].

What is the source of Nutmeg?

Plant Based

Benefits of Nutmeg

What are the benefits of Nutmeg for Flatulence (gas formation)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Nutmeg might be beneficial in the management of intestinal gas. Gas formation occurs mainly due to indigestion of food. Nutmeg acts as a digestive and promotes the process of digestion. Thus, Nutmeg is used as a remedy in case of digestive problems like flatulence and colic[2][3].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Nutmeg might give relief from intestinal gas. Gas or flatulence is caused due to an imbalance of Vata and Pitta dosha. Low Pitta dosha and aggravated Vata dosha results in low digestive fire, thus impairing digestion. An impaired digestion leads to intestinal gas or flatulence. Taking Nutmeg helps to improve digestive fire and corrects digestion because of its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties.
Tips:
1. Take 1-2 pinch of Nutmeg Powder.
2. Swallow it with honey preferably after meals to control intestinal gas.

What are the benefits of Nutmeg for Indigestion?

scientific
Modern Science View
Nutmeg might be beneficial in the management of stomach problems like indigestion. It acts as a good digestive agent and supports digestion[2][3].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Nutmeg helps to manage stomach problems like indigestion. According to Ayurveda, indigestion means the state of an incomplete process of digestion. The main reason for indigestion is aggravated Kapha that causes Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). Taking Nutmeg helps to improve Agni (digestive fire) and digests the food easily. This is due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties.

Tip:
Take 1-2 pinch of Nutmeg Powder.
Swallow it with honey preferably after meals to manage indigestion.

What are the benefits of Nutmeg for Diarrhea?

scientific
Modern Science View
Nutmeg might be beneficial in the management of diarrhea. It has good antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities. It helps to reduce the microbial infection. It also reduces the inflammation of the intestine. Due to its anti-secretory activity, it reduces the loss of fluids and electrolytes from the body[2][3].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Nutmeg is useful to control diarrhea. Diarrhea is known as Atisar in Ayurveda. It is due to improper food, impure water, toxins, mental stress and Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). All these factors are responsible for aggravating Vata. This aggravated Vata brings fluid in the intestine from various tissues and mixes with the stool. This leads to loose, watery motions or diarrhea. Nutmeg helps to control diarrhea by balancing Vata and promoting digestive fire due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties. It also helps to thicken loose stool and control the frequency of loose motion.
Tips:
1. Take 1-2 pinch of Nutmeg Powder.
2. Swallow it with honey preferably after meals to control diarrhea.

What are the benefits of Nutmeg for Cancer?

scientific
Modern Science View
Nutmeg might be beneficial in the management of various types of cancer. It has antioxidant, and chemoprotective activity. It leads to the death of the cancerous cells and prevents the spread of cancer[2][3].

How effective is Nutmeg?

Insufficient evidence
Cancer, Diarrhea, Flatulence (gas formation), Indigestion

Precautions when using Nutmeg

Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Consult your doctor while taking Nutmeg during Breastfeeding[3].
Moderate Medicine Interaction
scientific
Modern Science View
1. Nutmeg may interact with the drugs that are metabolized in the liver. So, it is generally advisable to consult your doctor if you are taking any drugs that are changed by the liver[3].
2. Nutmeg may interact with the sedatives. So it is generally advised to consult your doctor while taking Nutmeg with sedatives[3].
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Although it is safe to take Nutmeg in food amounts, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking Nutmeg during pregnancy[3].
Side Effects
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
Nausea
Dry mouth
Dizziness
Hallucinations[3].

Recommended Dosage of Nutmeg

  • Nutmeg Powder - 1-2 pinch once or twice a day.

How to use Nutmeg

1. Nutmeg Powder
a. Take 1-2 pinch of Nutmeg Powder.
b. Swallow it with honey preferably after meals.

Benefits of Nutmeg

What are the benefits of Nutmeg for Local anesthesia (Numb tissues in a specific area)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Nutmeg oil might be beneficial in the management of pain. It shows anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects when applied. It inhibits the release of inflammatory mediators and blocks pain-causing chemicals. Nutmeg oil acts as a pain reliever in case of pain and swelling of joints. It is also effective in case of diabetic neuropathy[3][5].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Nutmeg oil helps to reduce bone and joint pain when applied to the affected area. According to Ayurveda, the bones and joints are considered a site of Vata in the body. Pain in the joints is mainly due to Vata imbalance. Applying Nutmeg oil helps to reduce joint pain due to its Vata balancing property.
Tips:
1. Take 2-5 drops of Nutmeg oil or as per your requirement.
2. Mix with Sesame or Coconut oil.
3. Apply or massage gently on the affected area once or twice a day to manage joint pain.

How effective is Nutmeg?

Insufficient evidence
Local anesthesia (Numb tissues in a specific area)

Precautions when using Nutmeg

Allergy
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Use Nutmeg oil after diluting with Coconut oil before applying if you have hypersensitive skin. This is because of its Ushna (hot) potency.

Recommended Dosage of Nutmeg

  • Nutmeg Powder - ¼- ½ teaspoon or as per your requirement.
  • Nutmeg Oil - 2-5 drops or as per your requirement.

How to use Nutmeg

1. Nutmeg face Pack
a. Take ½ -1 teaspoon of Nutmeg Powder.
b. Add honey or milk to it.
c. Apply evenly on the face and neck.
d. Wait for 5-7 minutes.
e. Wash thoroughly with tap water.
f. Use this remedy 1-2 times a week to control excess oil on the skin.

2. Nutmeg Oil
a. Take 2-5 drops of Nutmeg oil or as per your requirement.
b. Mix with Sesame oil or Coconut oil.
c. Apply or massage gently on the affected area once or twice a day.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What does Nutmeg taste like?

scientific
Modern Science View
Nutmeg has a characteristic taste. It imparts a sweetness to the dishes. It can be easily distinguished even when blended with various other spices.

Q. How much Nutmeg is safe to consume?

scientific
Modern Science View
There is not enough scientific evidence available to confirm the therapeutic doses of Nutmeg. However Nutmeg at 1 to 2 mg/kg body weight was reported to induce therapeutic effect. It is generally advisable to avoid the overdosage of Nutmeg[9][10].

Q. Does Nutmeg help to reduce cholesterol?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg helps to reduce cholesterol. It helps in the elimination of cholesterol through stools. Thus, Nutmeg helps to decrease the level of LDL or bad cholesterol and triglycerides. It also helps to increase the level of HDL or good cholesterol. It has antioxidant property that reduces the number of free radicals and prevents lipid peroxidation[2].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Nutmeg helps to control high cholesterol level. High cholesterol is due to an imbalance of Pachak agni (digestive fire). Impaired digestion at the tissue level produces excess waste products or Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion). This causes accumulation of bad cholesterol and blockage in the blood vessels. Nutmeg helps to reduce Ama which is the prime cause of bad cholesterol. This is due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties and helps control high cholesterol level.

Q. Can Nutmeg be used for Alzheimer’s disease?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg can be used in case of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is associated with a decline in the level of acetylcholine neurotransmitter (essential for processing memory and learning). Nutmeg has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the damage of neurons. It also inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. This helps to raise the levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Together, Nutmeg helps in improving memory functions in Alzheimer’s patients[2].

Q. Does Nutmeg have a role in diabetes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg has a role in diabetes. It binds to the PPAR alpha and gamma receptors. This helps to reduce the blood glucose levels. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This reduces the risk of developing diabetes-related complications[2].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Diabetes, also known as Madhumeha is due to an aggravation of Vata and impaired digestion. Impaired digestion leads to an accumulation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) in the pancreatic cells and impairs the function of insulin. Nutmeg powder helps to correct impaired digestion due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties. This reduces Ama and improves the function of insulin. Together it helps to manage normal blood sugar level.

Q. Does Nutmeg have a role in obesity?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg has a role in obesity. Tetrahydrofuran (THF) an organic compound in Nutmeg prevents the increase in fat tissues and body weight. Nutmeg also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This reduces the risk of obesity-related complications like diabetes and high cholesterol[2].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
An increase in weight is due to unhealthy food habits and lifestyle which leads to a weak digestive fire. This increases accumulation of Ama causing an imbalance in Meda dhatu and thus resulting in obesity. Nutmeg helps to improve digestive fire which reduces Ama and also improves metabolism. This is due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties. Together it helps to control obesity.

Q. Is Nutmeg beneficial for men?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg is beneficial in managing sexual desire as well as potency in men. This is due to the presence of certain constituents in Nutmeg that attribute to its aphrodisiac and nervous stimulating properties[7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Nutmeg is beneficial for men as it helps to improve their sexual life and prevent problems like premature ejaculation due to its Vrishya (aphrodisiac) property.

Q. Is Nutmeg suitable for babies?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg is good for babies when added to the food. This is due to the presence of certain components in it which help manage cough and cold in babies above 9 months. Studies also state that it might help manage abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea and constipation in babies [8][13].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Nutmeg helps to manage certain digestion problems in babies like flatulence, anorexia or indigestion due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestion) properties. It also helps to manage diarrhea in babies because of its Grahi (absorbent) property.

Q. Does Nutmeg have liver-protecting activity?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg has liver protecting activity due to the presence of certain constituents which removes toxins from the body and protect the liver from toxicity. Nutmeg also reduces inflammation in the liver due to its anti-inflammatory property and manages overall liver health[11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Nutmeg helps to digest food easily and is also helpful in improving liver functions due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestion) properties.

Q. Is Nutmeg useful to manage depression or anxiety?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg is useful to manage anxiety or depression due to its antidepressant activity.
Nutmeg works by acting on neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for managing depression and anxiety[12].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Nutmeg is useful to manage the symptoms of stress or anxiety. According to Ayurveda, Vata governs the nervous system and all the movements and actions of the body. Anxiety or stress is mainly due to Vata imbalance. Nutmeg helps to reduce the symptoms of anxiety by balancing Vata dosha.

Q. Is Nutmeg good for the skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg is good for the skin. Macelignan in Nutmeg acts as a skin depigmenting agent. It prevents the synthesis and storage of melanin pigment. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also acts as an anti-photoaging agent. It protects the skin against the damage caused by UV radiations[6].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Nutmeg or its oil is good for skin when applied externally because of its Ropan (healing) property.

Q. Is Nutmeg good for teeth?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg is good for teeth. Macelignan in Nutmeg has strong anticariogenic (prevents tooth decay) activity. It inhibits the growth of the oral pathogens. It prevents bacterial biofilm formation on the teeth. This reduces the risk of dental cavities. In case of periodontal disease, it reduces pain and inflammation associated with it[4].

Q. Can Nutmeg be used for skin whitening?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg can be used for skin whitening. This is due to its antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It might also reduce pigmentation and scars and thus improve skin color[6].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Nutmeg can be used in skin whitening. It helps to manage facial pigmentations due to its Ropan (healing) property.

Q. Can Nutmeg help reduce acne?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Nutmeg might help reduce acne due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It slows the spread of microorganisms and prevents the growth of bacteria on the skin. It also reduces inflammation by healing the skin due to its anti-inflammatory property[6].

References

  1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India.Part 1 Volume 1.
  2. Tripathi N, Kumar V, Acharya S. MYRISTICA FRAGRANS: A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW.Int J Pharm Pharm Sci.2016;8(2):27-30.
  3. WebMD.Nutmeg-and-mace: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].
  4. Shafiei Z, Shuhairi NN, Yap NMFS, et al. Antibacterial activity of Myristica fragrans against oral pathogens. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.2012.
  5. Zhang WK, Tao SS, Li TT, et al. Nutmeg oil alleviates chronic inflammatory pain through inhibition of COX-2 expression and substance P release in vivo. Food & Nutrition Research.2016.60:30849.
  6. Abourashed EA, El-Alfy AT. Chemical diversity and pharmacological significance of the secondary metabolites of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt.).Phytochem Rev.2016.15(6): 1035–1056.
  7. Tajuddin, Ahmad S, Latif A, et al. An experimental study of sexual function improving effect of Myristica fragrans Houtt. (nutmeg). BMC Complement Altern Med. 2005;20;5:16:1-7.
  8. Usman R.Poisonous Herbal Plants: N.A.Educreation Publishing.2016.
  9. Demetriades AK, Wallman PD, McGuiness A, et al. Low cost, high risk: accidental nutmeg intoxication. Emerg Med J. 2005;22(3):223-225.
  10. Hallström H, Thuvander A. Toxicological evaluation of myristicin. Nat Toxins. 1997;5(5):186-192.
  11. Yang XN, Liu XM, Fang JH,et al. PPARα Mediates the Hepatoprotective Effects of Nutmeg. J Proteome Res. 2018;17(5):1887-1897.
  12. Moinuddin G, Devi K, Khajuria DK.Evaluation of the anti–depressant activity of Myristica fragrans(Nutmeg) in male rats.Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine.2012;2(2): 72–78.
  13. Gonçalves JL, Lopes RC, Oliveira DB, et al . In vitro anti-rotavirus activity of some medicinal plants used in Brazil against diarrhea. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005;99(3):403-407.
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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