During the middle ages, nutmeg played a really significant role in the spice trading in Europe. There was even a point when this became so expensive and acquiring it is not an easy thing. Because of its scarcity and the sky-rocketing price, Europeans were able to have political control because it gave them trading strength.
But what is nutmeg? How come this is much sought-after even during the middle ages? Nutmeg is a type of spice which is believed to have originated from Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands and Australia. Of course, these days, it is readily available in all corners of the world. Plus, growing and production of this spice is done in many countries.
Origin of Nutmeg
Nutmeg is a by-product of the plant that belongs to the Myristica genus. This is a spice that is created using the seeds. Before even processing the seeds to be able to make nutmeg, the outer covering which is color red is first removed. This shell is made into another spice which is called mace.
Benefits of Nutmegphoto credit: flickr.com/katerha
What is nutmeg going to contribute for your health? Amazingly, this spice is not just an excellent addition to dishes just because of the flavor. It also contributes in enhancing overall health.
Since the ancient Roman and Greek times, people have been using this as a brain tonic. It is recognized to help in calming the mind and relieving stress. If you are stricken by depression or you need extra brain power for work or school, adding the right amount of this in your food would help you out.
For traditional Chinese medicine, this is being used as treatment for abdominal pain and inflammation. Aside from adding it to food, the nutmeg oil can also be applied to the affected area. Use of nutmeg oil can alleviate the pain of arthritis.
It should not be forgotten that nutmeg also has natural antibacterial components. Hence, it is an effective remedy for various digestive problems like constipation, indigestion and flatulence. Because of its antibacterial properties, it is also widely used as an ingredient for toothpaste. It removes the bacterial build up within the mouth and teeth which could lead to bad breath and other serious dental problems.
If you find yourself tossing and turning for several hours before you can finally fall asleep at night, nutmeg is the solution. Add a pinch of nutmeg in a warm glass of milk and drink it before sleeping. The nutmeg will help you relax and have a good night sleep.
Nutmeg adds a pleasant flavor to many dishes. It has to be noted though that use of this spice should be regulated. Although it is difficult to attain, excessive intake of nutmeg can lead to hallucinogenic effects. When the amount of nutmeg that is ingested exceeds 25 grams, this could lead to poisoning. Before one could even feel the hallucinogenic effect of it, the negative effects would start to kick in. Aside from that, the poisoning and other side effects could last for days.