Boost of nutty spice

Nutmeg is a holiday favorite and is often known as the wonder spice. Such a title intrigued me, so I set out to determine what made nutmeg so special. This aromatic spice is native to Indonesia, but it also grows in Malaysia, India and the Caribbean. Nutmeg is a common ingredient in puddings, pies, custards, cookies, cakes and eggnog. Its health benefits are actually plentiful, hence its reputation as being the wonder spice. Its medicinal history is quite rich.

Foods spiced with nutmeg add flavor and give a healthy boost. (AP Photo)

1. In ancient Chinese medicine, nutmeg was used for pain relief because it’s an effective sedative. Nutmeg was commonly used to treat abdominal pain and inflammation. The best way to alleviate such pain is by applying nutmeg oil to the area.

2. Ancient Greeks and Romans utilized nutmeg as a brain tonic. Nutmeg helps you focus by eliminating stress and increasing concentration.

3. Nutmeg boasts antibacterial properties and, accordingly, it can

effectively combat halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath. Nutmeg is a common ingredient in many types of toothpaste.

4. Nutmeg can help you achieve healthier skin by getting rid of blackheads and lessening acne powder. Simply make a paste of nutmeg and honey and apply liberally to your face.

5. Ancient healers utilized nutmeg as a means of strengthening the liver. They weren’t incorrect. Today, nutmeg has been found to rid toxin buildup in the kidneys and liver. Nutmeg is particularly beneficial in preventing and dissolving kidney stones.

It is important to have nutmeg in moderation. Curiously enough, excess amounts of nutmeg have been found to cause hallucinations and visual distortion. Other negative side effects include convulsions, dehydration, body pains, palpitations and heavy sweating. So remember to be careful. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing — it’s a bad thing.

*All of the above information is from fitday.com.