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Nux moschata, popularly known as nutmeg, is an herbal remedy used in homeopathic medicine. It has commonly been used to treat dry mouth, menstrual problems, and digestive issues. Some people have used this herb to combat sleepiness. Both nutmeg essential oils and ground nutmeg seeds may provide health benefits when used in moderation.
Using the spice form, found in most kitchens, can also provide health benefits. Concentrated doses of nutmeg essential oil are also available in pill or capsule form. Pharmacies, natural food stores, and nutrition specialty shops usually carry nutmeg supplements.
Additional uses of nux moschata include pain relief due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies show that this herbal remedy can stimulate brain activity and enhance stress relief. Claims also include nutmeg’s ability to remove toxins from the liver and kidneys.
Belief in nux moschata’s ability to increase circulation has also led to its use to maintain cardiovascular health. Nutmeg oil rubbed directly on the gums can alleviate toothache pain. It can also be massaged into the skin to help ease stiff or painful joints. Nux moscahta taken orally may calm an upset stomach.
The myristica fragrans tree — found in Indonesia's Molucca Islands, the West Indies, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Sumatra — produces nutmeg. Its essential oil and the spice known as ground nutmeg are made from myristica fragans seeds. While these trees can take up to seven years to bear fruit and seeds, they can then produce fruit for up to 90 years.
Although a myriad of health benefits have been reported, nutmeg oil can turn toxic if taken in high doses. Users should read product labels to learn about recommended dosages and frequency of use. Patients should also seek the advice of a doctor or other medical professional prior to using nutmeg, for safety reasons and to help ensure a beneficial outcome.
In the United States, a prescription is not needed for herbal supplements like nux moschata. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate tests and trials to prove herbal remedy health claims. As a result, many nutmeg health claims remain unproven. Users must rely on personal experience or others' claims about the medicinal benefits of nutmeg, in terms of the determining the potential health benefits of using these products.
The FDA does prohibit all supplement makers from stating that any untested supplement can cure or treat any disease. Users should talk to their doctors regarding any possible drug interactions when using nux moschata and other homeopathy supplements. It has been reported that pregnant and nursing women should avoid high doses of nutmeg.