Nutmeg is a famous spice used extensively in cuisines globally that renders a mild, sweet and warm fragrance to the dishes. A native spice of Indonesia and it is largely cultivated in Southern India, Malaysia and the Caribbean.
Nutmeg seed or ground spice belongs to species of the genus Myristica fragrans. Fragrant nutmeg or true nutmeg is the only tropical evergreen tree in the world, cultivated for two distinct spices nutmeg and mace- the reddish lacy covering of the seed, with a mild flavour, exuding orange colour into the dishes. It is commercially grown for its essential oil and nutmeg butter.
This fragrant spice is clad by vernacular names such as Jaiphal in Hindi, Jaji kaya in Telugu, Jatikkai in Tamil, Jaikai in Kannada, Javitri in Bengal, Jaipal in Marathi and Gujarat, Jathika in Malayalam. A pinch of this exotic spice powder is used in baking, curries, sweets, beverages like tea and mulled wine. Jaiphal is valued as a potent aphrodisiac, digestive stimulant, essential oil easing the pain associated with headaches and treats common cold, cough and asthma.
Nutmeg spice powder comes with a dense nutrient profile which offers you with indispensable health benefits. The myriad of nutrients present in nutmeg includes fibre, manganese, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, and vital vitamins thiamin, vitamin B6, folate.
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Besides these, it is overpowered with antioxidants, including plant pigments like cyanidins, essential oils, such as phenylpropanoids and terpenes, and phenolic compounds, including protocatechuic, ferulic, and caffeic acids. The impressive array of nutrients in Jaiphal powder is known to promote digestion, improve brain functions, control blood pressure and stimulate liver health and ease the pain.
Jaiphala has been an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine since time immemorial for several beneficial properties which include laghu guna( very light on the gut), trutahara ( relieves thirst), vaktra kledahara(eases excess secretions in the mouth), vaktra daurgandhyahara (combats bad breath), artijit (treats sore throat), prameha (regulates diabetes), vrushya (potent aphrodisiac), hridaya (optimizes cardiac health), shwasahara (promotes respiratory health and treats COPD and asthma), and vishahara (detoxifies the system).
Health Benefits Of Jaiphal
Potent Anti-inflammatory Effects
Inflammation is associated with increased risk of adverse health problems like heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. The richness of potent anti-inflammatory compounds monoterpenes, sabinene, terpineol and pinene lowers inflammation by hindering the action of the inflammatory enzyme. Jaiphal powder comprises essential volatile oils like myristicin, elemicin, eugenol and safrole with powerful anti-inflammatory properties is well-known to ease muscles and joints pain and lessen swelling.
Bolsters Brain Health
The potent aphrodisiac properties of Jaiphal are proven to stimulate the nerves in the brain and was used extensively as a brain tonic by the Greeks and Romans. The essential oil is effective in alleviating stress by treating depression and anxiety. The adaptogen nature of nutmeg powder works both as a stimulant and a sedative. Furthermore, notable aphrodisiac properties enhance libido and improve sexual health and vigour. Also Read: Medhya Rasayana: Benefits Of These Incredible Ayurvedic Herbs To Improve Cognitive Abilities
The distinct flavour and aroma of Jaiphal powder hold incredible medicinal properties and effective in treating digestive woes like indigestion, constipation, flatulence, and ulcers. The exceptional fragrance of mace and Jaiphal powder relieves abdominal cramps, pain associated with gas and also treats diarrhoea and nausea. Also Read: 5 Herbs For A Healthy Digestive System
Promotes Dental Health
Bad breath is due to excess buildup of toxins in the system. Jaiphal is believed to thwart off toxins from the liver and kidneys and cleanse the system. The powerful antibacterial properties present in Jaiphal essential is effective against harmful bacteria that cause dental cavities and gum disease. It is a key ingredient in Ayurvedic toothpaste, which can combat bad breath. Moreover, the essential eugenol oil aids in easing toothache.
The impressive antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of Jaiphal powder are valuable in uplifting the skin’s natural glow and radiance. The cleansing property wards off blackheads treats acne and unclog the pores. The bioactive compounds macelignan in Jaiphal powder aids in slowing down premature ageing and oil is well-known for its skin rejuvenating properties.
An effective and simple home remedy to cleanse the skin is to make a fine past of Jaiphal powder by adding a few drops of milk and a teaspoon of Aloe Vera gel, apply over the skin, allow it to stay for 10 minutes and rinse well for an instant glow.
Nutmeg or mace powder is a very popular spice which renders a warm, nutty flavour and blends well with other food ingredients, thus making it a common element in dessert and savoury dishes alike. Besides these, the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of nutmeg powder are beneficial in reducing the risk of chronic disease and improves overall health.
Jaiphal powder is generally safe when consumed in minimal amounts, however, if taken in high amounts may have adverse effects. The compounds myristicin and safrole present in Jaiphal powder, when consumed in large amounts, may result in loss of muscle coordination and hallucination.