Nutmeg is a spice native to Indonesia, which is attributed medicinal properties to the body. It is frequently used in gastronomy, as it enhances the flavor of many preparations. Although many prefer to grate it on meals, there are those who like to enjoy it in infusions.
Among other things, this ingredient provides vitamins A, B and C. It also contains minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, iron and potassium. In this way, it is a fairly nutritious food, beyond the healthy properties that we will present below.
Nutmeg has the property of combating hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, damage to heart tissue and hepatotoxicity. Although most of the studies confirming these facts are carried out in mice, efficient protection against liver damage is observed .
In addition, due to the presence of monoterpenes inside, it is also protective against heart disease. These compounds have anticoagulant properties and protect against problems such as thrombosis.
It helps to alleviate the symptoms of gout
Due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties , it helps to relieve joint swelling and to combat the pain of chronic inflammation. Studies related to this fact are carried out in mice and studies that contrast this effect in humans are missing.
However, its anti-inflammatory properties are contrasted . Therefore, the results can be partially extrapolated.
It can be used as a scrub
Combining nutmeg powder with honey results in an interesting product to treat certain skin diseases . In this way, the result can be applied as a natural scrub that removes dead cells and fat accumulation.
On the other hand, masks can be made with this product to fight acne. Its antiseptic and regenerative effects make it an ideal spice for this type of functions.
Nutmeg can be toxic in high doses
Consuming this spice in excess (one to three nuts) can cause adverse side effects. The volatile oils it contains, formed by derivatives of alkylbenzene, terpenes and myristic acid can cause nausea, hallucinations, inflammation and shock . Therefore, it is important to consume this food in moderation.
It can, in some cases, cause relaxing sensations similar to those of cannabis. However, the most common is that overdose occurs with dehydration and widespread pain . The effects last more than 24 hours, and can even exceed 36.
It is not entirely clear which of the compounds has the highest toxicological activity. It is believed that myristicin can be oxidized in a more water soluble metabolite of amphetamine character.
In what ways can it be found?
On the market nutmeg is available whole to be grated, powdered and in the form of essential oils. The latter are obtained from the distillation of ground walnut and are used primarily in the pharmaceutical and perfume industry.
It contains compounds of interest to the oleochemical industry and is used as a flavoring. Another use of the oil is to treat rheumatic pain , and it can also be used as an emergency method to treat toothaches.
On the other hand there is also nutmeg. In this case it is a semi-solid and brown substance. 75% of it is trimiristine, which can be converted into myristic acid. This fatty acid is used as a substitute for cocoa butter and has applications as an industrial lubricant.
Conclusion on nutmeg
Nutmeg is a product that has a clear utility in gastronomy. But in addition to its organoleptic potential, it has certain properties that can be beneficial to health.
Although there is a lack of studies in humans that fully demonstrate them, their use in a moderate way can be positive for the improvement of certain pathologies or situations. However, this spice does not offer miraculous solutions and a dangerous potential due to the possibility of overdose.
For this fact, it is recommended to use it in moderation, not to exceed the recommended daily amounts and, in the case of doing so, go to the doctor quickly to prevent major problems.