Nutmeg oil is used as a natural food flavouring in baked goods, syrups, beverages, sweets etc. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. It has been used as a traditional medicine to cure illnesses related to the nervous and digestive systems. Externally, the oil is used to treat rheumatic pain and dull toothache.
It is extracted from the seed of the fruit of an evergreen tree known as Myristica fragrans, a native of Indonesia, found in the Spice Islands. It is found in Malaysia, the Caribbean, and Southern India as well. It is the only tropical tree in the world that bears two distinct spices - nutmeg and mace.
The essential oil is obtained by the steam distillation of ground nutmeg. The oil contains numerous components like sabinene, α-pinene, β-pinene and limonene. It consists of approximately 90% terpene hydrocarbons.
In ancient times, nutmeg oil was used to cure the plague and other infectious diseases.
Nutmeg oil blends well with other essential oils like marjoram, mandarin, lavender, rosemary, cedarwood, clary sage and sandalwood. When used as a spice in the right dosages, nutmeg oil has a wide range of health benefits.
The health benefits of nutmeg oil can be attributed to the stimulant, antibacterial, sedative, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties.
The main health benefits of nutmeg oil include: