Nutmeg is yet another wonderful spice with benefits that extend beyond its heavenly flavor and aroma. Its medicinal use dates back to the 12th century. Traditionally, many used it to treat gastrointestinal disorders and rheumatic pain (affecting joints and connective tissue). They also used it to treat wounds and infections.
As noted in this article, nutmeg has many health benefits. Studies show that in small amounts it may help stop diarrhea and detoxify the body. It’s rich in a variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. It contains antioxidants and has both antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Scientia Agriculturae published an article on the health and nutritional benefits of nutmeg that include it’s use as a brain-booster, heart-tonic, liver and kidney detoxifier, sleep-aid, breath-freshener, aphrodisiac and more.
This PubMed-published article states that nutmeg extract may help to increase muscle mass and prevent muscle wasting which could prove it quite useful as a supplement for “preserving skeletal muscle mass and preventing sarcopenia in elderly.”
Nutmeg may be useful in treating diabetes. Animal studies show that nutmeg extract “significantly decreased the blood glucose levels and increased the levels of serum insulin in diabetic rats”. Another animal study showed that nutmeg may help reduce risk factors for heart disease by lowering high cholesterol and high triglycerides.
While animal studies have shown much promise for nutmeg’s healing properties, in some cases high doses were administered. We need more human studies to confirm the best way to use nutmeg medicinally. However, like any potent spice, it’s safe and ideal to enjoy nutmeg in quantities typically called for in recipes.
For more information on healing spices, click here.