It is native to southeast Asia and Amboine islands in the Moluccas,
Indonesia. It is commercially cultivated in Indonesia (East Indian) and
Grenada (West Indian), and to a smaller extent in Sri Lanka (East Indian).
Description of Nutmeg:
A spreading deciduous evergreen tree 15 to 20-meters (49 to 66 ft) high,
with dark green leaves, yellow flowers without petals and large yellowish
fruit. All parts of the tree are aromatic. Female trees produce the pale
brownish yellow, fleshy fruit that splits into two at maturity. The oil has
the characteristic aromatic, volatile, oily-spicy fragrance of whole
nutmegs. Nutmeg is the actual seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about
20-30 mm long and 15-18 mm wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 grams dried,
while mace is the dried "lacy" reddish covering of the seed.
Several other commercial products are also produced from the trees,
including essential oil, oleo resin and nutmeg butter.
Spicy and warm
Colorless or liquid
Nutmeg oil has various chemical
compounds that include monoterpene hydrocarbons, oxygenated monoterpenes,
Terpinen-4-ol, Pinene, Sabinene, Cineole, Camphene, Limonene, Myristicin and
: It is extracted by the steam distillation of
Nutmeg may be used in a massage oil for the relief of muscular aches and
rheumatic pain. The therapeutic properties are analgesic, anti emetic,
antioxidant, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiparasitic,
aphrodisiaac, cardiac, larvicidal, laxative, stimulant(energetic) and tonic.
It helps in removing problems which results in arthritis, constipation,
fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, neralgia, poor circulation, rheumatism and
slow digestion. Nutmeg essential oil is rejuvenating, uplifting and
Nutmeg have great taste qualities, nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and
more delicate flavor. It is nice in cheese sauces and is best grated fresh.
In Indian cuisine nutmeg is used almost exclusively in sweets. It is known
as jaiphal in most parts of India. It is also used in small quantities in
In other European Cuisine nutmeg is used especially in potato dishes and in
processed meat products, they are also used in soups, sauces and baked
The Japanese varieties of curry powder include nutmeg as an ingredient.
Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled wine and eggnog.
A nutmeg grater is a tiny grater with very small holes. It is used to grate
nutmeg over eggnog and other creamy and frothy drinks, in which nutmeg is
used to garnish food additives. It contains numerous components useful for
the oleo-chemical industry. It is also a natural food flavoring in baked
beverages and sweets etc. It replaces ground nutmeg as it leaves no
particle in the food. The pericarp (fruit/pod) is used in Grenada to make a
jam called Morne Delice.
In Indonesia, the fruit is sliced
finely, cooked and crystallised to make a fragrant candy called manisan
Nutmeg oil is a component in men's fragrances and spicy perfumes.
The nutmeg oil is used in perfumery and pharmaceutical industry and smells
and tastes spicy. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and
pharmaceutical industries for instance in toothpaste and as a major
ingredient in some cough syrups. In traditional medicine nutmeg and nutmeg
oil were used for illnesses related to the nervous and digestive systems.
Myristicin in the essential oil is probably the agent responsible for the
hallucinogenic properties of nutmeg oil.
Nutmeg butter is obtained from the nut by expression. It is semi solid and
reddish brown in colour and tastes and smells of nutmeg. Approximately 75%
(by weight) of nutmeg butter is trimyristin which can be turned into
myristic acid , a 14-carbon fatty acid which can be used as replacement for
cocoa butter, can be mixed with other fats like cottonseed oil or palm oil
and has applications as an industrial lubricant.
Myristicin, 5-allyl-1-methoxy-2,3-methylenedioxybenzene, is a natural
ingredient present in the nutmeg which is used as a insecticide with
possible neurotoxic effects.
Cosmetics and Toiletries:
It is mildly counter-irritant and is used in liniments and hair lotions.
Burners and vaporizers
In vapor therapy, nutmeg oil can be helpful with the nervous system,
digestive system, muscular aches and pains, as well as invigorating and
stimulating the mind.
Blended massage oil or in the bath
Used as a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, nutmeg oil helps with
muscular aches and pains, gout, rheumatism, gallstones, arthritis,
circulation, digestive disorders and sexual problems.
Creams or lotions
Although it is recommended that nutmeg oil in little quantity be used for
skin care in general, any cream containing it can help with relieving
muscular pains and aches, it has a good toning action on hair.