The Health Advantages of Mace and Nutmeg

A variety of Myristica species are used to make nutmeg, the most popular being fragrant nutmeg (Myristica fragrans). The crimson seed coating, called the “aril,” is utilized to manufacture mace, and the seeds are ground into a powder to make the spice.

Sales of mace and nutmeg are quite low in comparison to other popular spices like turmeric. The UK alone imports twice as much turmeric as the EU does, and the combined amount is well over 15,000 tons. The EU imports slightly more than 2,000 tons of nutmeg. Since nutmeg and cloves are imported in equal amounts and are frequently used in holiday drinks and desserts, nutmeg sales peak around Christmas.

Mace versus Nutmeg

Mace and nutmeg spice are from the same tree and taste very much alike. Though it is more frequently processed into a fine brown powder, nutmeg is occasionally marketed in its seed form, from which it can be grated. Mace is ground into a crimson powder after drying and grating.

While they share some of the same chemicals and potential health advantages, mace tastes a little sweeter and more understated than the other. What marjoram is to oregano, mace spice is to nutmeg.

The Health Advantages of Mace and Nutmeg

On this website, we’ve explored a wide range of herbs and spices and their health advantages. However, nutmeg is a little different in that, although it may have some beneficial impacts on health, there are also some major adverse effects to be mindful of. Therefore, take sure to read the section on adverse effects lower below before rushing off to ingest more mace or nutmeg.

1. It Might ease Pain

In a 2016 study, nutmeg oil was found to have a more favorable effect on inflammation levels when compared to diclofenac. The researchers proposed using nutmeg oil as a treatment for acute joint pain, inflammatory joint diseases, and other ailments. The only issue is that nothing indicates that ingesting the pure spice would have the same positive effects as topical application of a concentrated oil.

Applying nutmeg topically also raises the possibility of contact dermatitis, a common adverse effect.

2. It Might Lift Your Spirits

Due to its ability to stimulate serotonin and dopamine, nutmeg contains chemicals that appear to have a significant impact on mood. So far, research on rats has shown great promise: mood modifications and neuroprotective effects have been observed.

Although there haven’t been any human trials, there are indications that nutmeg may help lower the likelihood of neurological disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s, and there may be more problems than it fixes when it comes to the hazards and dangers of nutmeg use.

3. It Might Assist with Sleeplessness

We have talked about a number of spices and herbs that are associated with relaxation, such as the calming chamomile tea and the beautiful passionflower. Another spice that could promote relaxation is nutmeg. For many years, a traditional remedy for relaxing has been a pinch of nutmeg added to a hot cup of tea or a warm glass of milk. Animal studies have also supported the effectiveness of this remedy. For healthy sleep also use organic turmeric powder.

In one of the few human trials on nutmeg’s ability to treat insomnia, 251 individuals were given a nutmeg supplement and asked to note any changes in their sleep habits. In just 4 weeks, they saw a marked improvement in all areas, including mood and sleep, and no negative side effects were recorded.

Still, this is the only significant human experiment to date, and the herbal supplement included nutmeg along with numerous other extracts.

4. It Contains Antimicrobial Ingredients

The same substances that are considered to give nutmeg its mood-boosting and neuroprotective properties may also have an antibacterial impact and aid in the destruction of oral germs. It might also help to lessen dental plaque and ease tooth pain.

The Perils of Nutmeg

With the exception of essential oils, which can have dangerous side effects, and chili peppers, which can have unpleasant side effects when overused, most spices are safe in small amounts. Even in greater dosages, the worst that can happen is mild gastrointestinal distress.

However, nutmeg is a very different animal. Hallucinations, severe nausea, an irregular heartbeat, and other symptoms can be brought on by doses greater than 10g, and some of these symptoms may already be evident at 5g. Although many users soon learn, there isn’t much recreational usefulness to this substance, despite it being wrongly classified as such. Although these cases are uncommon, higher dosages can sometimes be fatal.

The good news is that these adverse effects are rare and shouldn’t occur at regular culinary doses; you only need to take a lot to feel them. The typical serving size may result in a dose of much less than 1g of nutmeg, and the average recipe calls for no more than a quarter of a teaspoon. However, because this is one of the few spices where assessing a recipe incorrectly can lead to severe illness, it is crucial to use extremely modest dosages.

Other Nutmeg Side Effects

Although allergies to mace and nutmeg are a possibility, if you use them sparingly, they should be safe and devoid of negative effects. It was once thought to be dangerous to consume when pregnant, but opinions on that matter have since shifted.

Although this is primarily due to the psychological effects of high dosages, it is not advised for those with a history of mental health issues. As long as you stick to flavoring quantities, it should not be a problem.

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