Nutmeg is one of the Est-known fragrant spices. It is the name given to the kernel of the fruit of a tropical tree. Most nutmegs come from the Philippines, West Indies, Moluccas or Spice Islands, and Brazil. There are about species of nutmeg trees and shrubs. The most common, whose botanical name is Myristica moschata, is a handsome evergreen with a straight trunk about 7 meters high. It is covered with branches from the base to the tip. The flowers are small and yellow, with the perfume-like lilies of the valley.
After about eight years of growth, the tree begins to fruit. The tree blooms and bears fruit in continuous succession all year-round, but the principal harvests occur about three a year.
The fruit is about the size and shag of a pear. When ripe it is golden yellow in color. The fruit opens in halves. Inside is a red, Beshy part called “the race”, and the nut-like seed. Inside this seed is the portion of the nutmeg used as a spice.
After the nuts are separated from the macs, they are dried in ovens until the kernels rattle in the shells. Then the shells are removed. Al- though nutmegs are usually exported while still whole in order to retain their flavor, they are used for flavoring food only after they have been grated. Nuts that are considered inferior are ground and the oils are extracted. This is called “oil of mace” or “nutmeg butter”.
Does Nutmeg Help Anxiety?
Nutmeg has traditionally been used as a spice in food preparation and as an herbal remedy in the treatment of many medical conditions, including anxiety.