Sleep Well and More with Nutmeg

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Nutmeg is an unsung herb.  It is used in recipes and put on top of eggnog at Christmas.  Very few people know that it also has some pretty amazing health benefits.

Sleep

Nutmeg is a sedative.  This means that it will assist those with trouble sleeping.  Grate a little nutmeg into some milk before bed and you will definitely sleep better.

This also means that it can help relieve anxiety.  If you are feeling anxious add some grated nutmeg to your tea and it will help to calm you.

Nutmeg’s sedative effects mean that you should only use it when you are not driving and are able to relax.

Some of the other actions of nutmeg are:

  • Anti-Spasmodic
  • Anti-Diarrhea
  • Pain Relief
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Carminative
  • Digestive Stimulant

 

Digestion

Nutmeg is carminative.  This means that nutmeg can be taken to ease gas pains and bloating.  It helps prevent stomach cramps and diarrhea.  Nutmeg can also be used to boost the appetite and is a great liver detoxifier.

Pain Relief

Nutmeg is an effective pain reliever.  It has been used for toothache, arthritis, muscle fatigue, sore joints and inflammation.  For these uses it is mainly the nutmeg essential oil that is used.  Simply apply the oil to the affected area. 

Nutmeg is available in both nut form and powdered form.  My recommendation is to stick with the nut form.  The powdered spice is sometimes adulterated with other things so for the best results buy the nuts.  Small nutmeg graters are available in most cooking shops and in some other general merchandise stores.

 

Warnings

No information about nutmeg should be given out without some serious mention of warnings and side effects.

When using nutmeg as a sedative please only use a pinch.  With this herb the saying Less is More is very appropriate.  Generally the amounts used in cooking are safe. 

There is a difference in medicinal dosage and cooking amounts in all herbs.  In nutmeg the differences are marginal.  When in doubt err on the side of less and if you need to increase the amount do so gradually.

Cautions regarding nutmeg include

Pregnancy – this herb can cause miscarriages so try to avoid it.

Interaction with drugs that are changed by the liver – Nutmeg may increase the rapidity with which these changes occur.  For the list of drugs and warnings see WebMD

Side Effects

Overdose of nutmeg can cause hallucinations, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and possibly seizures.

Overdose of nutmeg would occur by using one entire nut in a single time.  One to 3 nuts can cause the more severe side effects of hallucinations and seizures.

Nutmeg is an excellent herb for sleeplessness, digestive issues and pain.  Its efficacy is made clear by the cautions.  Use nutmeg with respect.