Nutmeg has enriched the kitchen since the Middle Ages thanks to its warm and spicy, sweet-bitter, fiery and peppery aroma. A pinch of the seeds spiced, finely grated, many different foods such as mashed potatoes, cauliflower or light sauces. The nutmeg is botanically no nut, but the seed kernel of the nutmeg tree.

Occurrence & cultivation of the nutmeg tree

The nutmeg tree is native to Indonesia, but is now grown in tropical areas worldwide. The nutmeg is botanically no nut, but the seed kernel of the nutmeg tree.

The nutmeg, which comes from the Indonesian Banda Islands, was already known in antiquity and in antiquity as a remedy, but as a spice she played at that time is not a major role. Only in the 16th century did nutmeg become more important in this respect. The nutmeg came later into the European cuisines of Europe, but nowadays it is an integral part of the spice range.

The nutmeg tree is native to Indonesia, but is now grown in tropical areas worldwide. Today it can be found in Africa, Asia and South America, for example. The most important cultivation countries are Indonesia, India and Grenada. The evergreen tree can grow up to 20 meters high, but on plantations it usually does not exceed six meters.

The dark green, leathery leaves are short petiolate and lanceolate pointed. The nutmeg, which flowers yellowish-white, has male and female flowers. From the female flowers of the tree develop yellow, peach-like drupes. The nutmeg, botanically a lonely berry, is in a smooth and woody shell. It is surrounded by a bright-crimson to violet-red seed coat (mace).

The seed coat is removed and, just like the nut, dried. When the shell is removed, the brownish seeds with their net-like surface appear, which are up to 25 millimeters long and about four grams heavy. When drying the mace fades. It turns orange to yellowish-brown and three to four inches long. The nutmeg is the kernel with the slightly wrinkled surface.

It is aromatic, sweet and spicy and slightly resinous. The nutmeg contains 30 to 40 percent of oil from which the nutmeg butter is squeezed out. The nutmeg has been grated for over 2, 000 years now used as a spice. The nutmeg takes an average of about eight years to produce the first fruits, and only after about 15 years does a yield-rich harvest occur.

Effect & application

The nutmeg can be prepared in many ways. The grated nut boiled up with warm milk, for example, has a calming effect due to the essential oils that unfold, and is particularly good for insomnia. Freshly grated nutmeg also stimulates digestion. The essential oils also have an antibacterial effect, so that an external treatment is effective.

For this purpose, a nutmeg is freshly grated and mixed with water to a thick pulp. This is given to the inflamed site. The essential nutmeg oil can also be incorporated into creams. The nutmeg butter is used, for example, for indigestion and externally applied to skin diseases. The nutmeg also serves to refine numerous dishes.

It is used sparingly in the kitchen, because it tastes very intense. It has a warm, spicy-aromatic and peppery taste and is often used to flavor, for example, potato and meat dishes, light sauces, cream soups, sprouts and Brussels sprouts and asparagus. The nutmeg is often used in Italian cuisine in combination with pasta dishes and spinach.

Thanks to the slightly bitter aroma, it is also an integral part of the Christmas bakery. Nutmeg is ground and available as whole nutmeg. Usually a pinch is enough to give the dishes a nice spice. The nutmeg should be added just before the end of the cooking time, so that the aroma is retained in the food. In the past, nutmeg was very precious, so even wars were waged, but nowadays the exotic spice is relatively cheap to buy in any supermarket.

As the aroma evaporates quickly, the nutmeg is best kept airtight and dark packed and always freshly grated over the food. In quantities of four grams, for example, the nutmeg is poisonous. Children and pregnant women should avoid them altogether.

Importance for Health, Treatment & Prevention

The nutmeg can be applied internally and externally. However, special care should be taken to avoid overdose. The nutmeg is said to help with many ailments and ailments, such as flatulence, diarrhea, stomach cramps, liver, gallbladder and heart failure, insomnia, eczema and herpes. The essential oils have a soothing effect and can also be used for gout, rheumatism and joint pain.

The nutmeg also has a stimulating, aphrodisiac and performance-enhancing effect, it promotes digestion and relieves cramps. The nutmeg should have a very positive effect especially on the bowels and also help with gastrointestinal infections with diarrhea and acute gastritis.

The intestinal walls should become permeable to the important nutrients by eating. In addition, the nutmeg eases bloating. The appetite also stimulates her, so she likes to be used after a long illness, when there is no appetite left. Nutmeg is also used in Ayurvedic medicine for incontinence, premature ejaculation and insomnia.

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