Medicinal Properties and Health Benefits of Nutmeg (Jathikai)

Nutmeg is the nutritional spice that is ground from Myristica Gragrans Seeds. It is the tropical green tree which has native to Indonesia. But, now, this spice grows in Malaysia, Southern parts of India, and the Caribbean.

Nutmeg can be seen in a whole-seed form, but it is mostly used as a ground spice. Its sweet aroma has separate values among various cuisines. Do you know? Mughlai cuisine regularly uses this spice in all their dishes.

Nutmeg powder has a slightly nutty flavor, and it is warm, which you can found on most of the curries and desserts. The drinks like Tea and mulled wine also have used this spice.

Nutmeg has a unique credit that it is the only tropical evergreen tree in the world to bear two different spices called Nutmeg and Mace.

Apart from the exotic aroma and flavor of nutmeg, it comes under the Aphrodisiacs category. An only a small quantity or a pinch of nutmeg spice is used in cooking soups, beef stew, steaks, desserts, and gravy.

In India, Nutmeg commonly used by people of Kerala. Maybe it has brought into the state during ancient trade. 

They use all parts of this Nutmeg, for example, the nutmeg powder used to add flavor to desserts and meat curries or gravies, the flesh of Nutmeg used to make pickles, chutney, and few other condiments. 

Other than the fruits and its powder, the Nutmeg tree also has health properties. The leaves and parts of the tree are used to extract organic Nutmeg oil and butter that can be used as beauty agents. 

Nutmeg spice is highly used for its fragrance and flavor. Most people who use nutmeg on their dishes too don’t know its health benefits and medicinal properties.

So, we have decided to create a post discussing all the health benefits of Nutmeg and its complete medicinal properties.

Common Names of Nutmeg (Jathikai):

Botanical Name: Myristica fragrant
English Name: Nutmeg
Tamil Name: ஜாதிக்காய் / Jathikai
Malayalam Name: ജതികായ് / Jatikāy, ജാതിക്ക / Jātikka
Telugu Name: జాజికాయ / Jājikāya, జాజి కయ / Jaji Kaya
Kannada Name: ಜಾಯಿಕಾಯಿ / Jāyikāyi
Hindi Name: जायफल / Jaayaphal
Marathi Name: जायफळ / Jāyaphaḷa
Punjabi Name: ਜਾਫ / Jāpha
Bengali Name: জায়ফল / Jāẏaphala
Gujarati Name: જાયફળ / Jāyaphaḷa
Urdu: جائفل

6 Medicinal Properties of Nutmeg (Jathikai)

1. Powerful Antioxidants

Nutmeg seeds may be small, but the plant from these seeds derived has many plant compounds that act as antioxidants in your body when you consume. Antioxidants are nothing but the plant compounds that can protect the human cells from damages due to free radicals. These are molecules with unpaired electrons that can make it unstable and reactive.

If your body has increased free radical levels, then you get the oxidative stress on your body. This stress is associated with the progression of other chronic conditions, namely specific cancers, neurodegenerative, and heart ailments.

Antioxidants have the power to neutralize free radicals; thus, it prevents your body from cellular damage.

Fortunately, Nutmeg has a high amount of antioxidant properties, which include plant pigments like essential oils, such as terpenes and phenylpropanoids cyanidins, and phenolic compounds in addition to ferulic, protocatechuic, and caffeic acids.

An animal study on Nutmeg explained that intaking nutmeg spice prevents the rats from cellular damage, which undergoes isoproterenol medication that can induce effective oxidative stress.

2. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Chronic inflammation is associated with different worse health issues like diabetes, arthritis, and heart diseases. Thankfully, Nutmeg has an abundant amount of anti-inflammatory plant compounds names monoterpenes, sabinene, pinene, and terpineol. These plant compounds with anti-inflammatory properties reduce body inflammation.

The antioxidants of this spice have phenolic, and cyanidins have active anti-inflammatory abilities.

A study conducted on rats by injecting them with inflammation solutions and then gave nutmeg spice oil shows a significant reduction in joint swelling, inflammation, and pain caused by inflammation, in the rats that consumed nutmeg oil. 

By inhibiting enzymes, nutmeg reduces inflammation.

However, there is no study done on Humans to prove the anti-inflammatory properties of Nutmeg.

3. Has Antibacterial Properties

Nutmeg showed it has antibacterial properties that can effectively work against the harmful bacterias like Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Streptococcus mutans which cause gum pain, cavities, and dental ailments.

From a test-tube study, we found that nutmeg has powerful antibacterial properties to fight against the above bacterias in addition to Porphyromonas gingivalis, which can cause inflammation in gums and worse cavities.

Nutmeg extract can also stop the development of harmful strains of E.coil bacteria, namely O157, which cause very worst health ailments that can lead to death sometimes.

All the studies about antibacterial compounds of Nutmeg extract have done on animals only. We need a well-researched biological study on humans that should determine if the nutmeg extract can fight against bacterial infections and prevent humans from oral health problems due to bacterias.

4. Antidepressant Properties

Nutmeg extract has antidepressant properties which can provide the clam effect on your body. Many Ayurvedic medicines use nutmeg powder in their medication to treat anxiety and depression.

5. Anti-Cancer Properties

The chemopreventive properties can prevent cancer. Luckily, nutmeg has these compounds in high amounts. The Myristicin is a chemical available in nutmeg that can fight against the development of cancer cells and metastasis of leukemia.

6. Versatile and Delicious

Nutmeg extract, oil, spice, fruit, and powder are used in various dishes, curries, desserts, and foods. Nutmeg spice often used alone, but these can also be used with other spices like cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom.

The warm and sweet nutty flavor of nutmeg is why it has added to pies, cakes, bread, cookies, salads, and custards.

Nutmeg powder blend with any meat dishes like lamb gravy and pork chops and in all types of savory.

This spice sprinkled to create a flavor in starchy veggies like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin.

Somewhere, it can also be added to cold and warm beverages like hot chocolate, Tea, Apple cider, and smoothies.

Freshly grated nutmeg goes excellent with fresh fruit, yogurt, and oatmeal.

12 Health Benefits of Nutmeg (Jathikai)

1. Relives Pain 

Nutmeg has anti-inflammatory properties, and essential volatile oils have chemicals such as elemicin, myristicin, eugenol, and safrol, which can help reduce the pain and discomfort.Nutmeg-Relives-Pain

Nutmeg oil can treat muscle pain, swelling, joint pain, inflammation, sores, muscle spasms, and other body pains.

Just a few drops of nutmeg oil on the affected area can slow down the pain and inflammation.
Also Read: Most Effective Spices & Herbs For Inflammation

2. Helps Treat Insomnia

Nutmeg seemed to have properties to treat insomnia when consumed in small doses as it has a calming effect. Various ancient medications and practices show that nutmeg can induce sleepiness and stressing effects while sleeping. 

Nutmeg-treats-insomnia

Based on Ayurvedic medicine, adding a pinch of nutmeg powder to a glass of warm milk and having it before going to bed provides stress-free sleep. For added benefits, you can add almonds and a pinch of cardamom powder.

It is an old tradition that followed in India to drink milk with a pinch of nutmeg to get rid of insomnia organically and healthily.

3. Helps Digestion

The medicinal properties of nutmeg help in digestion and even treat stomach ulcers. Most Indian recipes have this spice, and even desserts are laced with this spice as it helps for easy digestion. 

nutmeg-Helps-Digestion

The essential oil in the nutmeg has a carminative effect on our digestive system. The digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, gas, or bloating can be treated with a pinch of grated nutmeg in stews and soups.

Nutmeg aids in the secretion of digestive enzymes and brings relief. The fibers in nutmeg help in bowel movement.
Also Read: Common Herbs Naturally Boost Digestion

4. Brain Health

Nutmeg acts as an aphrodisiac that can stimulate the nerve systems in the brain. The healthy chemicals in this spice release the feel-good hormones in our body, which in back offers a calming effect on your brain. Nutmeg works as a tonic to lift your mood and alleviate stress. 

nutmeg-for-brain-health

Greek and Roman people used this spice oil as a tonic during ancient times. Nutmeg works excellent against anxiety and depression; the essential oils in the spice reduce stress and fatigue.

It works as stimulant and tonic and helps recover from tiredness and illness.

5. Treats Bad Breath

The overloaded toxin in the body causes bad breath. An unhealthy diet and lifestyle create toxins in your body. Nutmeg has essential oil to detoxify the organs by removing the toxins from the kidney and liver.

nutmeg-Treats-Bad-Breath

The anti-bacterial properties of nutmeg help to remove the bacterias from the mouth, which causes bad breath. 

In Ayurveda, nutmeg is used as a significant ingredient in toothpaste and gum pastes. This is because the nutmeg has an essential oil called eugenol that relieves you from toothache and a chemical called Macelignan that prevents cavities.

6. Gorgeous Skin

Nutmeg has a good amount of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties so that it can be used for face and skin glow. These properties in nutmeg provide healthy and supple skin and remove blackheads, acne, and clogged pores.

nutmeg-gives-Gorgeous-Skin

If you are looking for a natural agent to remove pimples, then take an equal amount of nutmeg powder and honey and make it a paste and apply it on pimples. Leave it for 20 to 25 minutes, after that wash the face with cold, warm water.

A paste of ground nutmeg and a few drops of milk can be used the skin along with the scrubs like orange peel powder and oatmeal.
Also Read: Best Herbs for Skin

7. Blood Pressure and Circulation

Nutmeg with high mineral contents like iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, etc., is a natural medicine for regulating pressure and blood circulation.

nutmeg-Blood-Pressure-and-Circulation

The calming effect of the nutmeg helps relax the blood vessels and keeps the heart function healthy.
Also Read: Best Herbal Remedies For Blood Pressure

8. Protects the Liver

nutmeg-Protects-the-Liver

Myrislignan is rich in nutmeg that can treat liver injuries and disorders. Studies show that nutmeg extracts can effectively treat the hepatitis inflammations and inflamed liver with its anti-inflammatory properties. Nutmeg can detoxify the organs in your body, especially the liver.
Also Read: Effective Herbs For Healthy Liver Function

9. Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels

Intaking an appropriate dose of nutmeg regularly proved to lower the cholesterol levels.

nutmeg-Helps-Lower-Cholesterol-Levels

The medicinal properties in this spice have effectively reduced hypolipidemic effects, which cause a sudden rise in your cholesterol levels.
Also Read: Natural Herbs & Spices To Lower Cholesterol

10. Relief from Diarrhea

As we mentioned earlier that nutmeg extracts help with digestion, it can help to relief from diarrhea also. Nutmeg has chemicals with carminative properties.

nutmeg-Relief-from-Diarrhea

To treat diarrhea, you have to consume nutmeg with cold water, which is the best way to recover from diarrhea.
Also Read: Natural Home Remedies for Diarrhea

11. Helps Hair Growth

The antimicrobial properties of Nutmeg make it a natural ingredient for hair growth as well. This property of nutmeg helps keep the scalp clean and prevent dandruff.

nutmeg-Helps-Hair-Growth

Most of the antidandruff shampoos have nutmeg as a primary ingredient. You can purchase these organic shampoos or make a paste at home with ground nutmeg, honey, and coconut oil.
Also Read: Best Natural Herbs for Hair Growth

12. Helps Weight Loss

Nutmeg-Helps-Weight-Los

As Nutmeg helps keep the digestive system healthier and remove toxins, it increases the body; thereby, it helps for weight loss.

Also Read: Best Herbs for Weight Loss

Nutritional Values of Nutmeg

The various nutritional contents and their values in 100 grams of ground nutmeg.

Nutrient Value
Calories 525
Total Fat 36 g
Carbohydrates 49 g
Protein 6 g
Sodium 16 mg
Potassium 350 mg
Calcium 184 mg
Iron 3 mg
Magnesium 183 mg
Calcium 0.18
Vitamin C 3 mg
Vitamin A 30 mg
Vitamin B6 0.2 mg
Niacin 1.3 mg

Dosage of Nutmeg (Jathikai)

The appropriate dosage of nutmeg based on several factors such as the person’s age, health history, and so on. 

There is no such scientific information to fix an appropriate range of doses for nutmeg. 

Remember the fact that all natural products are not always necessarily safe. So, the dosage is essential. 

Check and follow relevant detailed directions and usage tips on product labels.

You must consult a pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using this kind of natural ingredients.

A large dosage that is 30 grams (6 tbs) a day of nutmeg can be toxic and causes disorientation, double vision, and convulsions.

Side Effects of Nutmeg (Jathikai)

Though nutmeg will not harm when consumed in small quantities, ingesting it in high doses may cause terrible side effects.

We know Nutmeg contains the compounds myristicin and safrole. When you take these compounds in large amounts, these can cause mental illness like hallucinations and loss of muscle coordination.

Eating more amount of Nutmeg can cause serious health issues, such as rapid heartbeat, nausea, disorientation, vomiting, dry mouth, dizziness, and agitation. 

Some have died after intaking this spice in a high amount with other drugs.

These side effects will not affect even with a generous amount in culinary usage. 

During pregnancy and breast-feeding, high does Nutmeg that is larger than amounts in foods is unsafe, which can cause even miscarriages or congenital disabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to Make Nutmeg Tea?

Nutmeg is famous for its aroma and uniquely sweet, nutty flavor. This spice is an excellent ingredient for tea. 

It is extremely easy to make nutmeg tea. You need to boil water. Add a pinch of nutmeg powder, shredded ginger or powder, sugar as per your taste, and your usual amount of tea leaves to the boiling water. Let it boil for a few more minutes. 

Now, strain the decoction and drink it. If you like to add milk, you can.

2. Is Nutmeg Safe during Pregnancy?

Nutmeg is not a good choice for pregnant women and those who breastfeed. As a higher dose of nutmeg cause severe health issues, avoid taking risks during pregnancy. It is advised to stay away from adding nutmeg in your food during your pregnancy.

3. Does Nutmeg Induce Sleep in Infants?

Yes, it does. Nutmeg has chemicals that provide a calming and relaxing effect on infants. You can add a pinch of nutmeg powder in some warm milk and give it to your little one before bedtime. 

However, you must be sure that you do not give too much of this spice as larger consumption of nutmeg can be dangerous for health.

Nutmeg is a great Indian spice with a sweet and nutty flavor that has generous nutritional contents, medicinal properties, and possess health benefits. But, you have to ingest it in the right way and the right dose.

Please consult your doctor or healthcare professional to making sure the safe dosage range before having it.

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