Nutmeg Essential Oil <br><em>Myristica fragrans</em>
Most people know nutmeg as a culinary saviour, working wonders on sweet desserts and warm beverages. Nutmeg brings up memories of warm holidays spent with loved ones, nights lazing by a toasty fire and hearty meals enjoyed with family, friends and loved ones.
Nutmeg oil can also be used in cooking and is used in India to sweeten baked goods and give a unique flavour to desserts. Nutmeg’s not a one-trick pony though, as it offers many uses outside of the culinary world.
Nutmeg essential oil can be used medicinally as well as for personal health and grooming. It can help alleviate pain, including menstrual cramps, and it’s a terrific antiseptic and antibacterial. From occasional ailments, such as inflammation, coughing fits and stress, to long-term ailments, such as heart disorders and insomnia, nutmeg oil is a beneficial essential oil.
The Spicy History of Nutmeg
Nutmeg is native to the Spice Islands, where the little nugget was a prized spice. Early Indian Vedic texts mention nutmeg as a treatment for bad breath, fever and headache. Arab traders became aware of the spice and began trading it to the Venetians in the Middle Ages. Europeans quickly took to the spice, believing among other things that it held the power to prevent the bubonic plague. As demand for the spice grew, Europeans were desperate to find the source of the Arab nutmeg trade. The islands were discovered as the nutmeg source in the early 16th century, and several bloody wars commenced to take control of the nutmeg trade.
The Many Uses of Nutmeg
- Reduces Pain. Muscle and joint pain is eased by massaging the area with a blend of essential oils that includes nutmeg. The anti-inflammatory and slightly sedating elements in the oil helps to alleviate inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism. The oil also seems to have some effect on other pain too.
- Relieves Indigestion. Dyspepsia and flatulence are both traditionally eased with nutmeg, and it remains a popular use of the oil today.
- Helps Blood Circulation. Nutmeg has a stimulating effect on the body, encouraging circulation.
- Anti-Microbial. Nutmeg contains the compound macelignan, which was shown to kill Streptococcus mutans. Other studies show that nutmeg also has an effect on E. coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Bacillus subtilis. Nutmeg is not currently used as a treatment for these illness-inducing microorganisms, but early studies show some promise.
- Aphrodisiac. Nutmeg has been used for centuries to improve libido and desire.
- Skincare. Nutmeg is antiseptic and antibacterial, so it’s a good tool for clearing your skin of potentially damaging germs and toxins. This helps you to better control acne breakouts and fight the signs of aging.
- After Shave. Nutmeg is a light, thin oil to add to an after-shave tonic, soothing skin and providing an excellent aroma.
- Deodorant. Nutmeg oil has some deodorising properties that make it an ideal addition to your deodorant. You can also add a few drops to a water-filled bottle to spray in your home as a room deodoriser.
- Luck, Love and Prosperity. The appealingly sweet, warm smell of nutmeg is useful in attracting good fortune, wealth and love to your life.
- Third Eye and Crown Chakras. Nutmeg essential oil clears your mental fog and allows you to see things as they really are. This clarity is helpful in clearing your top two chakras, the third eye and crown. Adding nutmeg to your meditation or yoga aromatherapy encourages you to seek and find the wisdom and divinity of this realm and the spiritual realm.
If consumed or inhaled in large amounts, nutmeg can be toxic, causing contact dermatitis, allergic reactions and psychotic episodes. As a result, you should use nutmeg sparingly and cautiously. If you are taking anti-anxiety drugs, you should not use it at all. Because of the risk of accidental poisoning, keep nutmeg oil well out of reach of children and animals. Nutmeg is extremely toxic to dogs. People with epilepsy and women who are pregnant or nursing should not use nutmeg oil. Always dilute nutmeg oil in carrier oil before using.
- Botanical Name: Myristica fragrans
- Common Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
- Plant Part Typically Used: Seeds
- Colour: Clear
- Consistency: Thin
- Perfumery Note: Middle
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium to strong
- Aromatic Description: A rich, warm scent with hints of spice, sweetness and wood