Nutmeg is one of the most popular spices around the world (not to mention a favorite ingredient in my household during the holidays!) But there is more to nutmeg than adding it to eggnog and pumpkin pie. Did you know that since ancient times, nutmeg has been used as a natural remedy to treat various diseases?
Nutmeg is derived from the evergreen tree Myristica fragrans, which is indigenous to Indonesia. During the Elizabethan era, it was allegedly used to treat plagues across Europe. Arabians have used it as an aphrodisiac and it was also a natural ingredient used to treat liver disease in traditional Chinese medicine.
Although nutmeg is commonly used in powder form, nutmeg oil is becoming just as popular for its health benefits. Nutmeg oil is an essential oil that comes from nutmeg. It is derived by steam-distilling the dried kernels from the nutmeg seeds. Nutmeg oil is used as a natural treatment for everything from arthritis to digestive problems. Let’s take a further look at its health benefits.
The Wonders of Nutmeg Oil
1. Pain Relief
When applying nutmeg oil topically or as part of a hot compress, it can help relieve muscle and nerve pain, arthritis, and gout. To relieve the pain, massage two to three drops of nutmeg oil, along with coconut oil, and massage the affected area.
2. Controls Bad Breath
Nutmeg contains antibacterial properties that help kill bad bacteria and rid the body of toxins. Nutmeg can soothe the stomach acids and control foul-smelling breath. Simply add two drops of nutmeg essential oil to one cup of lukewarm water and gargle.
Also Read: 5 Proven Ways to Fight Bad Breath Naturally
3. Brain Tonic
Nutmeg essential oil can help with concentration and memory skills. It contains the natural organic compound myristicin—a component that can help enhance cognitive power and restrain growth of certain enzymes in the brain that are responsible for Alzheimer’s. It also helps relieve stress, anxiety, and fatigue by stimulating the functions of the sensory nerves.
To reap the full brain-boosting benefits of nutmeg oil, add two drops of nutmeg essential oil to a handkerchief; cover your nose and mouth area with the cloth and inhale.
4. Indigestion Relief
If you suffer from diarrhea, bloating, and constipation, nutmeg oil can provide relief by removing the excess gas from your intestines. Simply add five to six drops of nutmeg essential oil into a warm bath. Alternatively, you can blend three drops of nutmeg essential oil with carrier oil and use it as massage oil.
5. Skin Care
The antibacterial and antiseptic properties that nutmeg oil contains can help reduce wrinkles, lines, and other signs of aging skin—it’s even used as an ingredient in many natural cosmetics meant to treat dull or wrinkled skin.
6. Liver and Kidney Detox
Nutmeg oil has the ability remove toxins from the liver, making it a perfect liver tonic. It can also help dissolve kidney stones as well as the accumulation of uric acid in the body.
7. Treats Respiratory Problems
Nutmeg oil is very effective in treating respiratory problems related to asthma, as well as symptoms associated with colds, flus, and coughs. For optimal therapeutic benefits, add two drops of this oil in a steam inhaler to open the nasal passages and introduce moist, warm air into the lungs.
8. Natural Sleep Aid
The soothing aroma of nutmeg oil can help relax the body and serve as a natural sleeping aid. Simply massage five to six drops of nutmeg oil and coconut oil onto your body and the then take a warm bath (include three drops of nutmeg oil in your bath). This will soothe your nerves and improve the quality of your sleep.
How to Make Nutmeg Oil
- Carrier oil (used to dilute essential oils), such as grapeseed oil
- Glass bowl
- Measuring cup
- Whole nutmegs
- Mortar and pestle (device used to crush the nutmegs)
- Glass jar with an airtight screw top (eight-ounce jar)
- Dark-colored glass container with a lid (to store nutmeg oil)
1. Crush the nutmegs using your mortar and pestle. Alternatively, you can grate them—just be sure not to grate them into a fine powder.
2. Place 1/2 a cup of crushed nutmegs into the glass container.
3. Pour 1/2 a cup of carrier oil onto the crushed nutmeg.
4. Seal the glass container and shake the mixture to allow the nutmeg to mix with the carrier oil.
5. Place the jar in a spot with direct access to sunlight or heat for 48 hours. Shake the container every 12 hours.
6. After 48 hours, strain the oil into the glass bowl. Feel free to throw away the used spices.
7. Transfer the oil back into the container; add another batch of crushed nutmeg. Repeat steps four to seven.
8. Store the oil in the dark-colored glass container (using the funnel to pour it in). Seal it and keep it away from sunlight.
Precautions and Warnings
- Nutmeg oil is very concentrated and should never be consumed undiluted. Dilute it with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil.
- Epilepsy patients should not consume nutmeg oil because it can act as a stimulant.
- Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding may experience sensitivities to nutmeg oil—they are advised to exercise caution or seek medical advice before use.
Overuse of nutmeg oil by inhalation or ingestion can cause hallucinations, prolonged sleep, delirium (confused thinking/reduced awareness), visual impairment, vomiting, and convulsions. It’s recommended that you consult your physician before using nutmeg oil.
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Nutmeg Oil: An Essential Oil to Go Nuts For,” Mercola.com; http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/nutmeg-oil.aspx, last accessed October 5, 2015.
Hodges, D., “Nutmeg Essential Oil,” Ayurvedic Oils web site, September 6, 2015; http://ayurvedicoils.com/tag/ayurvedic-health-benefits-of-nutmeg-essential-oil.
“7 Health Benefits Nutmeg Provides,” FitDay.com; http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/7-health-benefits-nutmeg-provides.html#b, last accessed October 5, 2015.
“15 Amazing Benefits Of Nutmegs,” StyleCraze web site, June 30, 2015;
“Nutmeg,” Food.com; http://www.food.com/about/nutmeg-333, last accessed October 5, 2015.
“Health Benefits of Nutmeg Oil,” Organic Facts web site; https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/nutmeg-oil.html, last accessed October 6, 2015.