The name nutmeg is from the Old French for “hard aromatic seed of the East Indies”
It reached Europe via Arab traders in the first century AD and was mainly used for medicinal purposes. Although now used almost exclusively as a spice, it was promoted as a tonic after the protuguese took the Moluccas and obtained a monopoly on its production in 1512. It has been listed as a chinese medicinal herb since c. 600AD.
It grows in hot climatic conditions and is also cultivated.
Anti-bacterial activity – inhibit growth of Gram-negative bacteria (e.g. E.coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, Proteus spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae); gram-positive bacteria (e.g. E.faecalis); exhibit good potential against oral pathogens. Also, possess anti-fungal activity against C.albicans.
Analgesic activity – inhibit phospholipase A2, thus lowering the availability of arachidonic acid precursor for prostaglandin synthesis.
Anti-cataleptic effect – due to both dopamine facilitatory and anti-oxidant properties
Aphrodisiac effect – enhances both libido and potency
Mimics insulin activity
Antioxidant activity – shown to protect liver and heart from oxidative stress; have ability to scavenge free radicals.
Anti-hyperlipidemic activity – decrease LDL and triglyceride
Gastrointestinal system effect – reduce acidity and volume of gastric secretion
Balances disorders of Wind and Phlegm
Restores physical strength
Increases libido and potency
Increases body temperature
Stops diarrhea and vomiting
Clears hoarseness and relieves thirst
Relieves meteorism and abdominal distension
Balances blood sugar levels
Immune system and detoxification:
Lowers cholesterol and fat
Wound healing properties
Nervous system and cardiac action:
Treats Wind disorders related with heart
Induces good sleep
Clears depression and sadness
Stops chest pain related to heart