Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) medicinal herb is one of my favourite herbs. It is hardly
been used today, but many of us in Jamaica still use it in our
porridge. It brings out a rich flavour in any porridge, especially the
cornmeal porridge. It is a very good herb and spice that is used to improve
appetite and it is also good to aid in digestion and nausea as well as
vomiting. Do you love to make smoothies? Well it is great to put in smoothies, especially if one of the ingredients is ripe banana.
It is believed by many that a nut which is placed in the mouth will stop vomiting and nausea. It is also believed that a nut in the mouth may also prevent a stroke and if a person suffers a stroke, then it could prevent a second stroke. I guess I am a bit old fashion, but anything that is natural is really my passion. I am never without this special commodity.
The main part used as herbal medicine is the seed or nut and the medicinal properties are expectorant, carminative, sialagogue, deobstruent, emmenagogue as well as aromatic. The common names are Nutmeg flower, Flower seed, Black cumin, Nigella seed, Bishop's wort, Black caraway, Myristica fragrans and Small fennel flower.
The tree is native to the Moluccas and the Latin name comes from the Greek myristikos meaning perfumed. It is usually used to season foods and it is good to prevent gas as well as fermentation in the intestines.
It takes nine years for the female tree to bear fruit and although it is grown inland it is said that the tree which is grown near the sea possesses the best fruits. I have noticed that in Jamaica, the male tree is always planted next to the female tree to promote the bearing of the nutmeg. It is believed that the female tree will not bear nutmeg if the male tree is not planted next to it.
Many individuals use it as a spice, however, the Romans use it as a spice as well as an incense, but it it was during the 12th century that they recognized it as a spice.
With the help of milk it is possible to make a paste by simply mixing in some grated nutmeg. This will make an ideal paste that may be applied exactly upon skin ailments such as acne or pimples to help dry them out rapidly. Constant usages maybe needed to clear it up totally, but it is commonly very effective.
In the 16th century a very large amount was introduced into Europe by the Dutch East India Company. They used the fresh fruit to make jam or jelly. The nut is dried in the sun until the kernel begins to shake in the shell, then the shell is broken and the seed is extracted and used.
The red outer membrane of the seed or nut is the exotic spice
known as mace, and this is a bit stronger than the nut. The Indians
utilize the mace by roasting it and then give it to babies to stop
infantile diarrhea, indigestion as well as dysentery. The dose that is
administered is a quarter of a teaspoon of mace put in their juice,
honey or tea.
The benefits include soaking the mace and some rum together in a small bottle and used sparingly whenever there is a bellyache. Put a teaspoonful in a glass of water and drink for this remedy.
It is said that putting a string through the nut and hanging it around a baby's neck will ward off evil.
This medicinal herb is an excellent remedy for high blood pressure, preventing a stroke, asthma, fever, vomiting, malaria, coughs as well as diarrhea and a lotion may be used to rub rheumatism, arthritis and other painful joints conditions.
To make a rubbing ointment for chest congestion, flu as well as pneumonia, just grater the nut and add it to a small amount of water for easy rubbing. The powdered nut is also given to women to ease labor pain.
Make your desired cornmeal porridge
Pour your corn meal porridge in a bowl and sweeten
Use 1 or 2 slices of bread (I use brown bread)
Dice or break the bread in small pieces and combine with porridge
Sprinkle with nutmeg and consume
To make the tea, just add a pint of boiling water
to three grated nuts, let it stand until it is cool to consume. A
small amount at a time is good enough to be consumed because too much of
the tea can cause constipation. The tea can be sweetened with honey or brown sugar. For future use, you may store nutmeg tea in the refrigerator.
Updated May 06, 2015
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