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Nutmeg is loaded with medicinal properties. Use it wisely to savour its taste and enjoy the health benefits
Nutmeg is a small package with several big benefits. It’s used for prevention and healing of many known conditions. Here are some most common uses of nutmeg:
Nutmeg can also be used to soothe common problems.
To control acne, grind 2 – 3 nutmeg seeds and add little milk to make a paste. After washing the face with warm water, pat it dry, and then spread the paste evenly over the acne. After two hours, use warm water to remove the paste, followed by cold water to close the pores. This paste also acts as a scrub to treat blackheads.
To promote sleep, drink one cup of milk boiled with 1/4th teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
To soothe eczema [red scaly patches], make a nutmeg paste by grinding nutmeg seeds with water and smear the paste over the scaly patches.
To calm chest cold, make a paste of nutmeg powder and flour with water. Cover the cotton cloth with paste and apply to the chest.
To relieve diarrhoea, drink a filtered mix of 1/4th teaspoon of ground nutmeg, ? teaspoon of ground coffee in one cup of water.
Note: Home remedies should not be tried without consulting the physician.
The best way to ‘select’ nutmeg. Since the flavour degrades quickly, it is better to buy nutmeg for use in a month. The superior quality nutmegs are larger in size, round and weigh around 7 – 8g. The smaller grades weigh around 3g and the lowest quality are smaller nutmeg fragments. Testing for good quality fresh nutmeg is as easy as inserting a needle 1cm into the seed, if a tiny drop of oil seeps out, the nut is good. More commonly, people purchase. Ground nutmeg for ready sprinkling. Ground nutmeg should be used quickly to get the best flavour, as the flavour deteriorates overtime when it comes in contact with air and other aromas in the kitchen. Smell the nutmeg each time before you use, to make sure it’s still fresh and flavourful. Before purchasing ground nutmeg, don’t forget to check for the airtight seal and an expiration date printed on the side.
The best way to ‘cook’ nutmeg.Use nutmeg only if the recipe specifically states the use of it, as it is preferable not to experiment with the flavour of nutmeg. Once it is ground, nutmeg loses the oils which provide its flavour and taste. A nutmeg grater can be used for this purpose—a grater with a finest blade is preferable. It is advisable to use only small amounts of nutmeg in any recipe; otherwise it can overpower a dish. Lastly remember, adding nutmeg early in the cooking process can help distribute the spice more evenly into the dish.
The best way to ‘store’ nutmeg. Store ground and whole nutmeg away from sunlight in airtight containers. Avoid storing over the stove, sink, near a window or near a source of heat or moisture as heat can cause the spice to stale quickly. Even though nutmeg is dry, it is heat sensitive and exposure to steam can increase the risk of bacterial or fungal contamination. If stored in a freezer and repeatedly removed for use, condensation will form, which will accelerate loss of flavour and aroma. Ground nutmeg keeps best in the dark. If the nutmeg you buy comes in a clear bottle, consider transferring to a brown glass jar or opaque container. Ground nutmeg should have a pungent, spicy scent and should be a light fluffy powder, not sticky, clumpy or odourless.
The flavour of nutmeg works well in:
Note: One whole nutmeg grated is equal to 2 – 3 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.