Nutmeg

Nutmeg has a funny way of showing up all over the place. For example, for my course in Advanced Nutrition at Tufts University, I was placed in a group called Nutmeg. Truth be told, I had no idea what it was till I decided to look it up. Once I did, I was hooked. Nutmeg refers to the seed or ground spice that comes from the species Myristica Genus. This is dark leaved evergreen tree cultivated for its fruit which gives you Nutmeg and Mace. Often, essential oils and nutmeg butter may also be produced.

Both Nutmeg and Mace has similar qualities and are widely used as a flavoring in food. It shows up in Indonesian, Indian, Mughlai and European cuisines. It is commonly used in potato dishes, soups, sauces, baked goods, rice puddings and also while preparing vegetables and tortellini. In low doses, nutmeg does not produce any noticeable responses. However, if consumed in large quantities, it can create hallucinations, convulsions, palpitations, nausea, and dehydration. While the effects vary, it is known to cause anxiety, confusion, headache, dryness of the mouth and amnesia.

During Roman times people used nutmeg as a brain tonic because of its ability to stimulate your brain. Nutmeg was also used by the Chinese as a pain relief and is a staple ingredient even today in their medicines. It was also used to detoxify your liver and kidney and for improving the quality of your skin. In many cultures, people drink nutmeg with a warm cup of milk before they go to sleep to improve the quality of their sleep. Finally nutmeg is believed to improve the health of your brain. It is no wonder that it shows up in multiple formats in almost all civilization across the world. Why was I surprised to find myself in the nutmeg group?

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