Nutmeg oil is a sharp, musky and spicy flavored essential oil that is obtained from nutmeg. Apart from being used for flavoring foods, this oil is used to a great extent for therapeutic purposes. The oil gets its strong flavor because of the presence of certain compounds such as camphene, limonene, a-pinene, b-pinene, sabinene, mycrene, a-terpinene, etc. All of these chemical compounds combine to give the oil its sharp musky flavor. It is also used widely in the perfumery industry. Nutmeg is also known by other names such as mace, muscdier magic, myristica, muskatbaum, etc. Hence, the oil too can be found under the names such as mace oil, myristica oil, etc.
Nutmeg oil is extracted from dried nutmeg seeds (through steam distillation) which are abundantly available in Java and Sri Lanka. As per records, this oil was even used by the Egyptians for non-culinary purposes such as embalming the mummies and by the Italians for treating people during Plague. Indians used the oil for treating intestinal disorders.
Nutmeg oil is used for flavoring various baked foods, sweets, beverages and even syrups. Coca cola is one such beverage that contains this oil in a small percentage.
The consumption of nutmeg oil through foods and medicines is believed to have therapeutic uses such as:
- Aiding in the digestion process, especially in cases of diarrhea and gastroenteritis.
- Controlling nausea and vomiting, when consumed with a little honey.
- Helping in assisting the reproductive system and also regulating irregular periods.
- It is known to control blood pressure and also, stimulate the heart.
Nutmeg oil is compatible with other essential oils such as rosemary and thyme. It can also be used in combination with black pepper, geranium, cypress, sage, orange and clary.
This oil should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Nutmeg oil is considered a non-irritant and non-toxic; however, when the dosage increases, it can result in severe nausea and stupor. Pregnant women are advised to avoid consuming foods that contain this oil or even undergo any kind of internal or external treatments that use the oil.