Seen in Indonesia, Malasia, Sri Lanka, and West Indies. Hot-humid climate facilitates its proper growth. In India, it is cultivated in Kerala, Tamil nadu etc. It is a moderate sized aromatic evergreen tree, with creamy yellow fragrant flowers and yellow fruits which splits on maturity. The seeds are oval with yellowish red arils. Nutmeg contains an essential oil and saponin. The dry, ripe seed of the fruit contain a volatile oil and a fixed oil. The dry leaves of the tree yield an essential oil consisting of myristicin.
Nutmeg in the Ayurvedic Perspective
Nutmeg cures all vata-kapha predominant diseases. It dries up all the water content in the body (grahi), hence causes constipation.
1. Indigestion: Decoction of the nutmeg can be consumed or nutmeg powder along with honey /water can be consumed for 2-3 days (three times a day).
2. Headache: A paste of nutmeg can be applied on the forehead.
3. Arthritis: The oil of nutmeg is mixed with mustard oil and applied on painful joints.
4. Rheumatic arthritis: nutmeg oil mixed with olive oil can be used for massage.
5. Diarrhoea: decoction of heart wood of nutmeg is useful in arresting diarrhoea.
6. Burning eyes: paste nutmeg in milk and apply all around the eyes and over the eyelids for its cooling effects.
7. Black discoloration: Prepare nutmeg paste with some water and apply on the face to get rid of spots and discoloration. This paste is effective in healing cracked soles too.
8. In foul smelling ulcers/wounds: Sprinkle nutmeg powder over it.
9. In paediatric running nose/cold: Nutmeg powder mixed in mustard oil can be applied on the crown of the head for beneficial results.
10. Insomnia: The powder of nutmeg mixed with fresh amla juice can be consumed in case of insomnia, depression and irritability.
11. Aphrodisiac: Nutmeg mixed with honey and a half boiled egg, makes an excellent sex tonic.
Helps in treating premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction etc. thereby improving the male fertility level. It is also useful in female infertility when there is disruption of the menstrual cycle and pain.
12. A paste prepared of nutmeg, mixing with lime juice can be used as natural bleach, in turn improving complexion.
13. Nutmeg oil mixed with coconut oil can be used for massaging the scalp, to prevent hair fall.
Eating too much nutmeg causes narcotic effect causing delirium and convulsions.
It should not be used by pregnant women as it may lead to miscarriage.
Even nursing mothers must refrain from using nutmeg.
In large doses it can cause psychotic problems.