Spotlight Oil: Nutmeg

One little bottle of Nutmeg is good for a variety of tasks.  If you don’t already have this little gem in your arsenal, give it a try.

In just a few weeks, tables all across America will be adorned with the classic Thanksgiving offering.  No, not the turkey, while that is super important in our house.  The classic offering, I am referring to is the pumpkin pie.  This pie holds special meaning for me as it has doubled as my birthday cake for as long as I can remember.

Pumpkin pie needs some key things to make it great; a flaky crust, good quality pumpkin, and the perfect combination of spices.  For most of us, we just take for granted the ingredients needed to make a delicious pumpkin pie, but once upon a time, this was not at all the case.

If your pantry is anything like mine, the spices needed for this pie are probably already waiting in your spice racks to be baked into a pie.  Spices like cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove, and especially nutmeg are critically important to the creation of the perfect pie.  Can you imagine how imbalanced your pie would be if you say…. had to leave out the nutmeg.  (I’m not gonna lie, it hurt me a little bit to write that last statement.  I am serious about pie y’all.)  And yet this was almost the case given nutmeg’s past.

nutmeg

This once rare and precious spice was kept such a secret from the world that only a special chosen few knew where it was grown.  This secret spice sold for a lot of money to emperors and only the very wealthy.  The nutmeg was ground down and used in drinks and what else, pastries.  But like all good things, there were many people who were searching for the mysterious place where this spice was grown so that they too could have a piece of the pie. (ugh, I know that was a terrible pun)

If you can even imagine this, men bled and died to protect their nutmeg stash.  (Perhaps they were also really serious about their pie)

250px-banda_islands_enThe secret “spice island” was eventually found in the Banda Islands off the coast of Indonesia, by a group of Spanish traders in 1512.  Following this discovery; wars were fought, seedlings were smuggled, and the secret spice became not so secret and more readily available to people other than the wealthy.  The world all over was able to reap the benefits found in the fruit of the Nutmeg tree.

Can I get a hallelujah?  Imagine how bland our beloved pumpkin pie would be without it.

 

I’m sure you can probably guess that there are a few other benefits found in this seed, now extracted into essential oil, that prompted me to promote Nutmeg as our Oil of the Month.  If that was your guess, then you were absolutely correct!

What Is Nutmeg?

Nutmeg is one of two spices-the other being mace- that originate from the species of tree’s known as Myristica. These evergreen trees originated in the Banda Islands (also known as Spice Islands) of Indonesia. It takes 7-9 years after planted for the tree to produce its first harvest of nutmeg.  Nutmeg is typically used in powdered form, but the essential oils of the seed are also extracted using a steam distilling process.

What is The Value of Nutmeg?

Many of the medicinal Nutmeg uses were discovered by the Chinese and have long been a critical part of their culture.  Hildegard of Bingen, known as the first herbalist and naturopath of the middle ages, documented her work using Nutmeg as well.  Throughout the years Nutmeg has been used for everything from sedation to stimulation.  Today we know that Nutmeg can offer valuable support in the areas of:

         Anti-Inflammatory

         Indigestion, Gas, and Bloating

         Bad Breath

         Liver and Kidney Support

         Circulation

         Mood Support

         Increased Energy

         As an ingredient in many food dishes

         Room Freshener

While I love sharing the rich history of this oil with you, I really wanted to share how I am currently using this oil in my home today and hopefully encourage you to give them a try.  There are two ways that I am currently using Nutmeg essential oil right now and I am equally excited about both of them.

My favorite essential oil blend: Because Nutmeg is so great for helping to balance the mind, has such a rich spicy aroma, and blends well with a number of oils; it makes a great ingredient for oil blends.

autumn-momentsblend

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer:  It is no secret that I love coffee.  Creamer is an important part to the perfect cup of joe.  Recently I learned that it was possible to make my own coffee creamer and it has been life changing.  One of the first coffee creamer flavors that I attempted was Pumpkin Spice.  All the ingredients needed to make the creamer are ones that I always have on hand and whip together in a snap.

pumpkin-spice-creamer

Place all your ingredients in an empty creamer container or a container with a tight fitting lid and shake.  I may never, ever buy creamer from the store again!!!!!

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