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  • Nutmeg Beneficial Properties

    Nutmeg( fragrant muscatel)( Myristica fragrans Houtt) is a fragrant evergreen tree of the Muscat family, with fruits - nuts similar to apricots, which after maturation are revealed. The seed is nutmeg, has an ovoid shape and a wrinkled surface.

    The source of the nutmeg is the huge evergreen trees that once grew on the Moluccas, and now are found everywhere in the tropical latitudes. Trees are same-sex, they reach a height of 18-24 m. The plantation is considered normal if one male tree is 10-12 females. That's why they are called harem trees! They begin to blossom and bear fruit in the eighth or ninth year( and until then it is impossible to determine the sex).The first harvest is about 100 fruits. Approximately in the thirtieth year the average harvest from a tree makes 3-4 thousand fruits. Trees can bear fruit for a good 70 years.

    In place of yellowish flowers appear large yellow fruits, reminiscent of externally apricot or plum. When they disintegrate, a black seed( nutmeg) appears in the red, lace-like peel( husk).Both spices are dried separately. The main producers are the Moluccas and Grenada. Nutmeg has always been more accessible and in greater demand than its husks. That's why it's much more expensive. However, this is not surprising: from 100 nutmegs receive only 75 g of husk.

    The ancient Greeks and Romans are believed to have known the nutmeg and its husk.

    However, by the XII century. With these spices, thanks to the Arab merchants, the inhabitants of the Mediterranean were certainly acquainted. There was not much time left, and in the texts of the Salerno school there was a record that as a result of the unbearable consumption of nutmeg can be poisoned;they sing praises as a means of the heart, but immediately write about provoked cases of hemorrhoids and deaths: "Unica pih prodest, nocet altera, tertia necat"( "One nut is useful, another is not quite the third kills").

    For many years, the monopoly on these spices was first in the hands of the Portuguese, then the Dutch, until Pierre Poivre secretly took several young trees from the "spice islands".When the Moluccas became part of the British Empire, this plant fell into the West Indies, where it was beautifully adopted.

    In the XVIII century. Nutmeg and its husk were included in the French codes of rules for the manufacture of medicines, and in the XIX century. Pulligny wrote a book( 876 pages), entirely dedicated to nutmeg.

    Nutmeg contains a significant amount of essential oil( 3.1%), which has a burning taste and slightly spicy flavor, fiber, fat( up to 40%), carbohydrates.

    By pressing the seeds a dense fragrant orange balsam is obtained, consisting of fatty and essential oils and pigments.

    Colorless fragrant essence of muscat color( mazis oil) is used in the production of canned food, ketchup and mustard.

    The benefits of

    In folk medicine from different countries, nutmeg has long been used for colds. Sometimes it is chewed to improve the smell from the mouth. In homeopathy, Muscat oil is used for painful menstruation. And in some countries, nutmeg was considered a means of protection against spoiling and evil witchcraft, so it was worn around the neck and sewed into clothing. According to local beliefs, therapeutic and magical are only those nutmegs on the surface of which wrinkles form circles. It is believed that such nuts can excite and give love.

    In Arab medicine, as well as in folk medicine in many countries, nutmeg has long been used as a carminative agent for diarrhea and intestinal colic.

    In folk medicine recommend for varicose enlargement - to take grated nutmeg, squeezed it with water.

    Muscat balm is used to prepare ointments and grindings as an irritant. A bath with essential oil of nutmeg facilitates pain, improves blood circulation and cleanses the body with rheumatism.

    Nutmeg and muscat color is used as a means to increase appetite: they are added to food as a spice( especially effectively - in combination with lemon).To this end, also use essential oil of nutmeg: it is added to the bath, used for massage, inhaled from the bottle, they aromatize the air in the room. It is believed that nutmeg tones up the nervous system, and its essential oil is prescribed as a stimulant for fatigue and physical exhaustion. The aroma of nutmeg creates a feeling of warmth and security.

    In the East, Muscat has long been used as a means of exciting love wishes. In Sudan, the ground nutmeg is taken with impotence. To increase sexual activity, it is advised to add muscat to all dishes, like dill, parsley or celery.

    In the XVIII century.in France the husk of the nutmeg was taken to the means that have a strengthening and exciting action, which can strengthen the heart and brain activity, and also remove the general fatigue. As husks improve digestion, those people whose body does not digest food, who suffer from intestinal gases and premenstrual pain, continue to use it to this day. Nutmeg is also a strengthening, useful for cardiac activity for those who are on the mend, and also helping with general fatigue.

    Use in cooking

    Nutmeg is used in the preparation of cream and pudding, various sweets, cookies, baked apples, mousse from pears, compotes, jams.

    Add nutmeg to liver pate, dishes with meat, boiled or stewed fish baked in the oven, fish soup, cutlets, goose dishes, veal. This spice is used when preparing dishes from vegetables: vegetable juice, tomato soup, stewed carrots, potato puree, spinach, colored and Brussels sprouts, leeks, asparagus, peas, various vegetable salads, tomato sauce.

    Spices can be added in moderation - in dishes, to give them piquancy, and themselves to give pleasure. Take care of your fears and remember: you will start hallucinating only if you eat at least two nuts.

    The husk is sold in the form of leaf plates or in the form of a powder( it is not possible to crush it at home).Its aroma quickly evaporates, so buying a husk needs a small amount. It is put in cakes and sweet dishes, in some varieties of sausages and curry. Prefer to use it as a means of enhancing the activity of the digestive apparatus and nervous system, and also to add to milk, rice puddings, whisk with eggs and leaves of coriander and prepare from this mixture an omelet.

    Nutmeg is found as a whole, and in the ground form. It is best to season them with scrambled eggs, sauces( for example, white or cheese sauce for cauliflower) and put freshly ground nutmeg on a special grater in cakes. Especially good it is combined with onion and spinach, and if they sprinkle mashed potatoes, it's just delicious. Nutmeg is also a part of sausages, they are served by ravioli and many oriental dishes seasoned with spices. If you add it to a hot drink, like hot chocolate, then it will cheer you up( but do not do it in the evening, unless, of course, you have to work late).

    In Indonesia, from a small amount of flesh formed around the husks and nuts, make sweets, and in the Caribbean from the fermented top layer of pulp, a brandy-like alcoholic beverage is prepared.

    Beetroot in orange sauce with nutmeg

    Boiled beet - 0,5 kg;nutmeg;orange peel - 3 tbsp.spoons;lemon juice - 2 tbsp.spoons;butter - 70 g;flour - 1 tbsp.a spoon;sherry - 1 tbsp.a spoon;salt - 1/3 tsp;black pepper, parsley.

    Mix the grated zest, lemon juice and salt. Sprinkle lightly with black pepper and nutmeg. Add flour and mix thoroughly until smooth, adding sherry. Cook the mixture in a water bath until it thickens. Then add the oil, stir and pour the beets, cut into small cubes. Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

    Chicken fried in the test

    Chickens - 2 pieces;eggs - 2 pieces;milk - 200 g;flour - 300 g;melted butter( or vegetable) -1 hour.a spoon;Fat and vegetable oil for frying;lemon juice;nutmeg, salt.

    Chickens cut in half, grated with salt and lemon juice. From eggs, milk, butter and flour cook the dough, add salt, season with ground nutmeg. Roll the chicken meat in the dough and fry in the fat until golden-brown crust appears.

    Cautions

    It must be remembered that nutmeg should be consumed in small quantities. The glory of an abortifacient was fixed behind a nutmeg( once in Malaysia it was used to facilitate childbirth), therefore during pregnancy it should be avoided as a fire.