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Nutmeg for Digestive Disorders, Cough & Skin Care


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Home Remedies

Nutmeg is a fragrant spice that can be used as a home remedy for treating digestive disorders, coughs, and skin scars.

 

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) is the seed of a tree in genus Myristica. Nutmeg tree is native to Indonesia. The fruit of nutmeg tree is used to produce two spices: nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg is the seed of the fruit, and mace is the rind or covering of the seed.

Uses and benefits of nutmeg

Nutmeg and mace are used as spices in cuisines of South-east Asia, India, Middle East and Europe. Nutmeg is usually used in ground or grated form for flavouring many dishes. It is also added to juices, soups, sauces, and baked goods.

Nutmeg essential oil is a colourless or light yellow oil. It is obtained from nutmeg. Nutmeg essential oil contains about 60-80% d-camphene. It also contains d-pinene, limonene, d-borneol, l-terpineol, geraniol, safrol, and myristicin. Nutmeg essential oil is used as a natural food flavouring in food industry, added to the baked foods, syrups, beverages, juices and candies. Nutmeg essential oil is also used as an ingredient in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, added to toothpaste, and other products.

Nutmeg has long been used in traditional medicine. It can be used to treat digestive disorders and coughs. Nutmeg has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for centuries. It is named Rou Dou Kou in Chinese. According to texts of TCM, nutmeg has astringent, warming and gas-moving properties. It is pungent, bitter and warm, works in spleen, stomach and large intestine. Nutmeg is used to warm middle part of the body, dry up the intestines, move gas, aid digestion. It is effective to treat diarrhea, dysentery, bloating, flatulence, loss of appetite, vomiting, and indigestion. Nutmeg is one of key ingredients in the classical formula Si Shen Wan, which is used to treat chronic diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal tuberculosis and other digestive disorders caused by the coldness and Qi deficiency of spleen and kidneys.

Nutmeg can be used to treat coughs. Nutmeg oil is used in the West to cure cold, cough and asthma. It can be used to make cough syrups. Nutmeg has warming and drying properties. It is effective in treating wet coughs.

Nutmeg is also used in folk remedies for skin care. Using nutmeg with honey can help erase scars.

How to use nutmeg

1. Treating digestive disorders

Nutmeg is traditionally used to treat digestive disorders, such as diarrhea, dysentery, bloating, flatulence, vomiting, poor appetite, and indigestion.

Recipe 1 – nutmeg decoction:

- Nutmeg powder 3g
- Water 1 cup
- Boil and simmer for 3 minutes
- Drink 1/2 cup, twice a day

Recipe 2 – nutmeg and milk:

- Nutmeg powder 2g
- Warm Milk 1 cup
- Take the powder with the milk, twice a day

Recipe 3 – nutmeg oil and water:

- Nutmeg oil 3 drops
- Warm water (or milk) 1/2 cup
- Mix the oil in the water
- Drink it, twice a day

Recipe 4 – classic formula Si Shen Wan:

- Psoralen 4g
- Nutmeg 2g
- Schisandra 2g
- Evodia 1g
- Ground the herbs into a powder
- Boil to make a decoction or take the powder with water
- Twice a day

2. Treating coughs and colds

Nutmeg should be only used to treat wet coughs, or colds with runny nose.

Recipe 1 – nutmeg, licorice and ginger:

- Nutmeg powder 2g
- Licorice powder 5g
- Ginger powder 2g
- Water 1 cup
- Boil and simmer for 10 minutes
- Drink it, twice per day

Recipe 2 – nutmeg and honey:

- Nutmeg powder 2g
- Honey 1 teaspoon
- Warm water 1/2 cup
- Mix them well, and drink it, 2 times a day

3. Treat skin scars, marks and spots

Nutmeg is used to treat skin marks and scars.

Recipe 1 – nutmeg and honey:

- Mix some nutmeg powder with some honey to make a paste
- Apply it to the skin scars, marks and spots
- Leave for 30 minutes
- Wash off with water
- Once a day

Recipe 2 – nutmeg and aloe vera:

- Mix a few drops of nutmeg oil with some aloe vera
- Apply the mixture to the affected areas
- Leave for 30 minutes
- Rinse off with water
- Once a day

Please note, if you feel a burning sensation or your skin appears to be red and itching, then you should discontinue the treatment or change the ratio of nutmeg and honey (or aloe vera).

Warnings and Precautions

Although nutmeg is a spice that can be used for cooking. When used in low dose, it is safe. But overdose can cause poisoning, coma, mydriasis and convulsions. It is reported that consuming over 7.5 grams of nutmeg can cause dizziness, delirium, drowsiness, or even death. You should consult your doctor before using nutmeg.

References

  • Nutmeg, Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  • Compendium of Materia Medica, Li Shizhen ?1518?1593)
  • Risk: Accidental Nutmeg Intoxication, Emergency Medicine Journal 22 (3): 223–225.

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