Nutmeg's Health Effects

Like other herbs and spices, the assumed health benefits of nutmeg have been many and varied, but substantially unproven. Historically, nutmeg has been used for everything from stomach cramps to a cure for the plague. Even so, there is evidence that nutmeg does have health benefits. Studies show that it can help lower blood pressure and sooth a stomach ache as well as stop diarrhea and (in low doses) help to detoxify the body. The essential oil of the nutmeg is considered the most effecatious part of the plant.

Nutmeg in a Bowl

One of the interesting health benefits of nutmeg oil is its ability to stimulate the brain - it relieves stress and stimulates mental activity. It is even reputed to stimulate dreams. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it as a brain tonic despite the fact that it was quite rare and costly.

Nutmeg is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat joint and muscle pain. The oil works particularly well for this when it is massaged into the affected area. It is an integral herb in Chinese medicine where it is used for stomach pain and inflammation as well as reducing joint swelling.

In wholistic medicine it is considered an excellent liver tonic which can help remove toxins. Nutmeg oil is also a good herb for the kidney, helping it dissolve kidney stones as well as relieve infections.

Many believe that heart problems may also be alleviated by nutmeg, as it can help increase blood circulation and stimulate the cardio-vascular system. It is also good for digestion, getting rid of both gas and stomach aches and relieving vomiting, diarrhea, and flatulence as well as encourage appetite.

Nutmeg can also help with respiratory problems such as a cough from the common cold. It is often found as an ingredient in cough syrups. It is also said to be able to help with asthma. However, this remains unsubstantiated by research.

While there are many health benefits of nutmeg, be careful not to take it in high doses. It can be toxic and can cause serious problems. Never consume more than 30 grams (around 6 tablespoons) in a day, and even this amount would be considered excessive.

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