Nutmeg

(Myristica fragrans)

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Nutmeg is a popular spice made from the seeds of Myristica fragrans, a tropical evergreen tree native to Indonesia. It can be found in whole-seed form but is most often sold as a ground spice. Although it’s more commonly used for its flavor than its health benefits, nutmeg contains an impressive array of powerful compounds that may help prevent disease and promote your overall health.

Latin Name

Myristica fragrans

Native Region

Indonesia

Botanical Family

Myristicaceae

Used Part

Dried kernel

History

The earliest evidence of nutmeg usage comes in the form of 3,500 year old potsherd residues from the island of Pulau Ai, one of the Banda Islands in eastern Indonesia. The Banda Islands consist of eleven small volcanic islands, and are part of the larger Maluku Islands group.

These islands were the only source of nutmeg and mace production until the mid-19th century. In the 6th century AD, nutmeg spread to India, then further west to Constantinople. By the 13th century, Arab traders had pinpointed the origin of nutmeg to the Indonesian islands, but kept this location a secret from European traders Source

Research and Benefits

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