Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) has long been lauded as possessing or imparting magical powers. A sixteenth century monk is on record as advising young men to carry vials of nutmeg oil and at the appropriate time, to anoint their genitals for virility that would see them through several days. Tucking a nutmeg into the left armpit before attending a social event was believed to attract admirers. Nutmegs were often used as amulets to protect against a wide variety of dangers and evils; from boils to rheumatism to broken bones and other misfortunes. In the Middle Ages carved wooden imitations were even sold in the streets. People carried nutmegs everywhere and many wore little graters made of silver, ivory or wood, often with a compartment for the nuts.
An astringent herb that acts as a warming, digestive tonic. It controls vomiting and relaxes spasms. Internally used for diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting, abdominal distention, indigestion and colic. Externally for toothache and rheumatic and abdominal pains (including labour pains).
Ground or grated nutmeg gives flavour to bakery products, puddings, drinks, meat dishes, vegetables (notably spinach and mushrooms), cheese dishes, sauces, pasta, and stuffing.
Taste and Aroma
Warm, slightly sweet, aromatic and nutty.