Scientifically Proven Benefits of Nutmeg

Nutmeg has pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Discover other scientifically proven benefits of nutmeg here!
Scientifically Proven Benefits of Nutmeg
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Nutmeg is a spice from Indonesia that has medicinal properties. People use this spice often in gastronomy, as it enhances the flavor of many recipes. Although many prefer to grate it on meals, others like to enjoy it in teas. We’ll be discussing the benefits of nutmeg in this article.

Among other things, this spice is rich in vitamins A, B, and C. Also, it contains minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium. So, it’s quite nutritious, apart from the health claims we’ll present below.

The benefits of nutmeg

Liver protection

Nutmeg has the property of fighting hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, damage to heart tissue, and hepatotoxicity. Although most of the studies that confirm these facts were conducted on mice, experts observed efficient protection of the liver.

In addition, due to its monoterpenes content, it’s also protective against heart disease. These compounds have anticoagulant properties and protect from problems such as thrombosis.

A woman with a pain in her side.

Although the evidence is still limited, experts believe that nutmeg has properties that can protect the liver.

It can help relieve gout symptoms

Other benefits of nutmeg are its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties; it can help to relieve joint swelling and fight the pain caused by chronic inflammation. Experts conducted studies related to this fact on mice, and so they need to conduct further studies to analyze this effect in humans.

However, its anti-inflammatory properties were corroborated.

You can use nutmeg as an exfoliant

In this regard, combining nutmeg powder with honey results in an effective way to treat certain skin conditions. You can apply the resulting product as a natural exfoliant that removes dead skin cells and oil accumulation.

Moreover, you can make acne-fighting masks with this product. Its antiseptic and regenerative effects make it an ideal spice for these functions.

Nutmeg can be toxic at high doses

Consuming this spice in excess (from one to three nuts) can cause adverse side effects. The volatile oils it contains, which consist of alkylbenzene derivatives, terpenes, and myristic acid, may cause nausea, hallucinations, inflammation, and shock. Therefore, it’s important to consume this food in moderation.

In some cases, it may result in relaxing sensations similar to those of cannabis. However, an overdose most commonly causes dehydration and widespread pain. The effects last more than 24 hours and even may exceed 36 hours.

In addition, it isn’t clear which of the compounds has greater toxicity. In this regard, experts believe that myristicin can be oxidized in a more water-soluble amphetamine metabolite.

The benefits of nutmeg.

Ingested in large quantities, nutmeg can be harmful to health. Therefore, you should always consume it in moderation.

Forms of nutmeg

On the market, whole nutmeg is available, as well as ground nutmeg and as an essential oil. The latter is obtained from the distillation of ground nutmeg and is primarily used in the pharmaceutical and perfumery industries.

Also, it contains compounds of interest to the oleochemical industry and it’s used as a flavoring. In addition, people can use nutmeg oil to treat rheumatic pain, as well as an emergency method to treat toothaches.

Furthermore, you can also buy nutmeg butter, which is a brown semisolid substance. 75% of it is trimyristin, which can become myristic acid. People use this fatty acid as a substitute for cocoa butter and as an industrial lubricant.

Conclusion on nutmeg

Nutmeg is a product with multiple culinary uses. But besides its organoleptic potential, it has certain health-promoting properties.

Despite the fact that human studies are needed to completely prove its properties, using nutmeg moderately may help improve certain diseases or conditions. However, this spice doesn’t offer miraculous solutions and you should consume it in moderation due to the risk of an overdose.

For this reason, experts don’t recommend exceeding the daily amounts. If you do, go to the doctor quickly to prevent further problems.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.