Health Benefits of

nutmeg

Nutmeg, also known as Mystica fragran, contains both toxic and non-toxic substances including myristic acid, glycerides, trymiristan, and essential oil. It not only has culinary uses but is also important for the health of an individual. [1] The nutmeg plant is native to the Banda Islands located in Indonesia and is commonly known as 'jaiphal' in the subcontinent. Nutmeg has numerous therapeutic properties including its effects on the central nervous system, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain. [2]

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Nutmeg for Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that particularly affects adolescents. Nutmeg demonstrates antibacterial activity against Cutibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus aureus attributed to phytochemicals present in nutmeg, including alkenyl benzene and neolignans. Nutmeg also inhibits the production and release of inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide and prostaglandins, thus, modulating inflammation and treating acne. [3]

Nutmeg Enhances Penetrability of Topical Formulations

Topical treatment of psoriasis with cyclosporines is the treatment of choice in this chronic autoimmune skin condition. A mixture of nutmeg and coconut oil improves skin permeability and assists the absorption of cyclosporine nanoemulsion through the skin. The mixture improves the efficacy of cyclosporines in reducing transepidermal water loss and improving the average water content of the skin, hence treating skin dryness and associated conditions. [4]

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Figure 2 demonstrates the effects of cyclosporine nanoemulsion on transepidermal water loss and average water content when paired with the mixture of nutmeg and coconut oil https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5378462/

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Figure 3 demonstrates the effect of different concentrations of nutmeg oil on the survival of permethrin sensitive mites https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC2920318/

Acaricidal Activity of Nutmeg

Scabies is endemic in Northern Australia and is referred to as a skin disease caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, the itch mite. Eugenol is an important constituent of nutmeg and other essential oils that is known for its acaricidal properties. Eugenol decreases the survival rate of both permethrin-resistant and permethrin-sensitive mites. [5]

Nutmeg for Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication in diabetes patients characterized by numbness and prickling pain of hands and feet that is more severe during the night. Analgesic effects of topical nutmeg extract improve diabetic neuropathy pain. [6]