Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nutmeg(Jaiphal) Cultivation

Myristica fragrans

Scientific classification
Kingdom       : Plantae
(unranked)     : Angiosperms
(unranked)     : Magnoliids
Order            : Magnoliales
Family           : Myristicaceae
Genus           : Myristic

The nutmeg tree(jaiphal) is any of several species of trees in genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia. The nutmeg tree is important for two spices derived from the fruit: nutmeg and mace.
Nutmeg is the seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1 in) long and 15 to 18 mm (0.6 to 0.7 in) wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 g (0.2 and 0.4 oz) dried, while mace is the dried "lacy" reddish covering or aril of the seed. The first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place 7–9 years after planting, and the trees reach full production after 20 years. Nutmeg is usually used in powdered form. This is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices. Several other commercial products are also produced from the trees, including essential oils, extracted oleoresins, and nutmeg butter .
The common or fragrant nutmeg, Myristica fragrans, native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia, is also grown in Penang Island in Malaysia and the Caribbean, especially in Grenada. It also grows in Kerala, a state in southern India. Other species of nutmeg include Papuan nutmeg M. argentea from New Guinea, and Bombay nutmeg M. malabarica from India, called jaiphal in Hindi; both are used as adulterants of M. fragrans products.

Botany and cultivation

Nutmeg is a dioecious plant which is propagated sexually and asexually, the latter being the standard. Sexual propagation by seedling yields 50% male seedlings, which are unproductive. As there is no reliable method
of determining plant sex before flowering in the sixth to eighth year, and sexual propagation bears inconsistent yields, grafting is the preferred method of propagation. Epicotyl grafting, approach grafting and patch budding have proved successful, epicotyl grafting being the most widely adopted standard. Air-layering, or marcotting, is an alternative, though not preferred, method, because of its low (35-40%) success rate.

Culinary uses

Nutmeg and mace have similar sensory qualities, with nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavour. Mace is often preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it imparts. Nutmeg is used for flavouring many dishes, usually in ground or grated form, and is best grated fresh in a nutmeg grater.
In Penang cuisine, dried, shredded nutmeg rind with sugar coating is used as toppings on the uniquely Penang ais kacang. Nutmeg rind is also blended (creating a fresh, green, tangy taste and white colour juice) or boiled (resulting in a much sweeter and brown juice) to make iced nutmeg juice or, as it is called in Penang Hokkien, lau hau peng.
In Indian cuisine, nutmeg is used in many sweet as well as savoury dishes (predominantly in Mughlai cuisine). It is known as jaiphal in most parts of India. It is also added in small quantities as a medicine for infants (janma ghutti). It may also be used in small quantities in garam masala. Ground nutmeg is also smoked in India.

In Middle Eastern cuisine, ground nutmeg is often used as a spice for savoury dishes. In Arabic, nutmeg is called jawzat at-tiyb .
In Greece and Cyprus, nutmeg is called moschokarydo (Greek: "musky nut"), and is used in cooking and savoury dishes.

In originally European cuisine, nutmeg and mace are used especially in potato dishes and in processed meat products; they are also used in soups, sauces, and baked goods. In Dutch cuisine, nutmeg is added to vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and string beans. Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, and eggnog.

Japanese varieties of curry powder include nutmeg as an ingredient.

In the Caribbean, nutmeg is often used in drinks such as the Bushwacker, Painkiller, and Barbados rum punch. Typically, it is just a sprinkle on the top of the drink.
The pericarp (fruit/pod) is used in Grenada to make a jam called morne delice. In Indonesia, the fruit is also made into jam, called selei buah pala, or is finely sliced, cooked with sugar, and crystallised to make a fragrant candy called manisan pala (nutmeg sweets).

Medicinal Uses of Nutmeg(jaiphal)

Jaiphal is a powerful herbal alternative medicine known to have the following healing benefits:

- Jaiphal reduces stress and exhaustion

- Herbal jaiphal decreases anxiety and depression

- This natural home remedy reduces joint pain and soreness

- Jaiphal in herbal form also decreases menstrual cramping
- This natural home remedy also cures digestion issues and reduces bad breath

Jaiphal has been used as a natural herbal supplement for centuries for these and other maladies, and just recently jaiphal has started to become accepted by modern alternative medicine practitioners.

Jaiphal is known more commonly as nutmeg.  What is not commonly known about the natural remedy jaiphal is the potential of this home remedy to cure many common ailments.

As a spice, jaiphal, or nutmeg, is commonly used and makes many recipes taste more flavorful and aromatic. What many don’t know is jaiphal also has anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, analgesic male potency increasing properties.  In addition, at a higher dose this home remedy can help a person find calm or sleep.

Finally, this alternative medicine can be helpful for less serious but more chronic problems such as sinus infection and headaches.
It is better to consult a medical practitioner before using jaiphal to treat one's condition  with jaiphal or any other natural remedy, but here are some known ways to use jaiphal:

Digestive upsets: Take one fourth of a teaspoonful of jaiphal (nutmeg) powder in water as a home remedy.

Nausea and gas: Jaiphal mixed with honey is a natural remedy for this condition

Joint pains: Sesame oil prepared with herbal jaiphal powder applied directly on the painful joints can help as a natural home remedy

Headache: Paste of herbal remedy jaiphal and water applied to the forehead.

Insomnia: Jaiphal powder mixed with honey is an excellent home remedy for this condition.

Diminished libido: powdered jaiphal with honey as an alternative medicine.

Jaiphal’s average daily dose is up to one gram. An overdose on nutmeg can produce toxic symptoms like severe acidity, nausea, and anxiety, so again it’s important to consult with a medical practitioner before starting to take jaiphal or any other natural remedy.

We are just building this site about jaiphal (nutmeg) and other natural remedies and hope you will return soon as we add new and helpful information.  We are not a supplier or distributor of jaiphal or any other alternative medicine, so our aim will be to provide unbiased information and advice about jaiphal and your natural health.

Jaiphal has been known as a home remedy and natural cure for sleeping problems.  Taken correctly, jaiphal (nutmeg) can help a person calm their mind and relax and get ready for a deep restful sleep.  In fact, many who have had sleep problems from insomnia to early morning awakening have tried jaiphal as a possible natural cure.  But is it as simple as taking some nutmeg and sprinkling it on food?  Not really, given that you need just the right concentration of jaiphal to help you feel tired and ready for bed.

One way to prepare jaiphal (nutmeg) for use as a home remedy against insomnia and other sleep problems is to make a tea.  You simply pour about a pint of boiling water into crushed nutmeg, let it cool off, then strain.  Then heat it up again and drink.  About a cup of jaiphal tea a half hour before you go to sleep should do the trick.  One warning though – you should only use about 3-5 grams of jaiphal in this mixture – more than that and the nutmeg might actually have the opposite effect and make you agitated.

Jaiphal tea made simply like described here may be a great treatment for other issues as well, and a potential cure for fitfull sleep!

While most people know jaiphal by its more common name, nutmeg, most do not realize the incredible healing properties of this spice.  Listed in the first post are some of the more common uses, but jaiphal also has some less common but equally powerful uses as a home remedy and cure.  Its no wonder that jaiphal is becoming known as an incredible all-in-one home remedy.

For acne breakouts, grind up the jaiphal (nutmeg) – ideally from the nut form as opposed to the form you get for cooking.  Then add warm milk – enough to create a paste.  Apply this mixture on the affected area.  This jaiphal mixture should clear acne pimples as well as anything you would buy at a pharmacy.  You should test the mixture first on a small area, especially if using on the face, to make sure you will not have any allergic reaction.

The mechanism of action of jaiphal, whether for the above use in reducing acne, or any of the other uses listed here, is not completely known, though the results are well documented.  Nutmeg is a common household spice, and yet it has incredible healing benefits as a home remedy and cure – and this use against acne is amazing in how easy, elegant, and powerful it is.

Essential oils

The essential oil obtained by steam distillation of ground nutmeg is used widely in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries. This volatile fraction typically contains 60-80% d-camphene by weight, as well as quantities of d-pinene, limonene, d-borneol, l-terpineol, geraniol, safrol, and myristicin.The oil is colourless or light yellow, and smells and tastes of nutmeg. It contains numerous components of interest to the oleochemical industry, and is used as a natural food flavouring in baked goods, syrups, beverages, and sweets. It is used to replace ground nutmeg, as it leaves no particles in the food. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, for instance, in toothpaste, and as a major ingredient in some cough syrups. In traditional medicine, nutmeg and nutmeg oil were used for disorders related to the nervous and digestive systems.

Nutmeg butter

Nutmeg butter is obtained from the nut by expression. It is semi-solid, reddish brown in colour, and tastes and smells of nutmeg. Approximately 75% (by weight) of nutmeg butter is trimyristin, which can be turned into myristic acid, a 14-carbon fatty acid, which can be used as a replacement for cocoa butter, can be mixed with other fats like cottonseed oil or palm oil, and has applications as an industrial lubricant.

It is known to have been a prized costly spice in European medieval cuisine as a flavouring, medicinal, and preservative agent. Saint Theodore the Studite (ca. 758 – ca. 826) allowed his monks to sprinkle nutmeg on their pease pudding when required to eat it. In Elizabethan times, it was believed nutmeg could ward off the plague, so nutmeg became very popular and its price skyrocketed.

The small Banda Islands were, until the mid-19th century, the world's only source of nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg is noted as a very valuable commodity by Muslim sailors from the port of Basra, such as Sinbad the Sailor in the One Thousand and One Nights. Nutmeg was traded by Arabs during the Middle Ages and sold to the Venetians for very high prices, but the traders did not divulge the exact location of their source in the profitable Indian Ocean trade, and no European was able to deduce their location.

Connecticut gets its nickname ("the Nutmeg State", "Nutmegger") from the legend that some unscrupulous Connecticut traders would whittle "nutmeg" out of wood, creating a "wooden nutmeg" (a term which came to mean any fraud).

World production

World production of nutmeg is estimated to average between 10,000 and 12,000 tonnes (9,800 and 12,000 long tons; 11,000 and 13,000 short tons) per year, with annual world demand estimated at 9,000 tonnes (8,900 long tons; 9,900 short tons); production of mace is estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes (1,500 to 2,000 long tons; 1,700 to 2,200 short tons). Indonesia and Grenada dominate production and exports of both products, with world market shares of 75% and 20% respectively. Other producers include India, Malaysia (especially Penang, where the trees grow wild within untamed areas, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Caribbean islands, such as St. Vincent and Grenada, which produces 20% of the world's nutmeg supply. The principal import markets are the European Community, the United States, Japan and India. Singapore and the Netherlands are major re-exporters.

Medical research

One study has shown that the compound macelignan isolated from Myristica fragrans (Myristicaceae) may exert antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus mutans, but this is not a currently used treatment.

Nutmeg has been used in medicine since at least the seventh century. In the 19th century it was used as an abortifacient, which led to numerous recorded cases of nutmeg poisoning. Although used as a folk treatment for other ailments, nutmeg has no proven medicinal value today.

Psychoactivity and toxicity Effects

In low doses, nutmeg produces no noticeable physiological or neurological response, but in large doses, raw nutmeg has psychoactive effects. In its freshly-ground (from whole nutmegs) form, nutmeg contains myristicin, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor and psychoactive substance. Myristicin poisoning can induce convulsions, palpitations, nausea, eventual dehydration, and generalized body pain. It is also reputed to be a strong deliriant.

Fatal myristicin poisonings in humans are very rare.

In case reports raw nutmeg produced anticholinergic-like symptoms, attributed to myristicin and elemicin.

In case reports intoxications with nutmeg had effects that varied from person to person, but were often reported to be an excited and confused state with headaches, nausea and dizziness, dry mouth, bloodshot eyes and memory disturbances. Nutmeg was also reported to induce hallucinogenic effects, such as visual distortions and paranoid ideation. In the reports nutmeg intoxication took several hours before maximum effect was reached. Effects and after-effects lasted up to several days.

Myristicin poisoning is potentially deadly to some pets and livestock, and may be caused by culinary quantities of nutmeg harmless to humans. For this reason, it is recommended not to feed eggnog to dogs.

History of use

Peter Stafford's Psychedelics Encyclopedia quotes an 1883 report from Mumbai noting that "the Hindus of West India take nutmeg as an intoxicant", and records that the spice has been used for centuries as a form of snuff in rural eastern Indonesia and India, latter seeing the ground seed mixed with betel and other kinds of snuff. In 1829, the Czech physiologist Jan Evangelista Purkinje ingested three ground nutmegs with a glass of wine and recorded headaches, nausea, hallucinations and a sense of euphoria that lasted for several days.

The Angewandte Chemie International Edition records the use of nutmeg as an intoxicant in the United States in the post-World War II period, notably among young people, bohemians, and prisoners. A 1966 New York Times piece named it along with morning glory seeds, diet aids, cleaning fluids, cough medicine, and other substances as "alternative highs" on college campuses.

Toxicity during pregnancy

Nutmeg was once considered an abortifacient, but may be safe for culinary use during pregnancy. However, it inhibits prostaglandin production and contains hallucinogens that may affect the fetus if consumed in large quantities.