Nutmeg is a dried fruit that is becoming very fashionable lately for its digestive and analgesic properties. But what tree produces it and how is it grown?
We want to keep you informed of everything related to plants, and this time it will not be less. After reading this article you will know everything about nutmeg and its parent.
- 1 Myristica, the nutmeg tree
- 2 How is it grown?
- 3 uses of nutmeg
Myristica, the nutmeg tree
In tropical regions such as the Caribbean, Indonesia or New Guinea, we find a genus of trees called Myristica. These are evergreen tree plants (that is, they remain evergreen) that reach heights between 5 and 20 meters . The leaves are dark green, about 15cm long by 7cm wide.
They are dioecious species , that is, there are male and female flowers in different specimens, although both are very similar: they are bell-shaped and pale yellow. The only difference is that the male ones are arranged in groups of one to ten, while the female ones are arranged in groups of one to three.
The fruit, the nutmeg, is ovoid or pear-shaped . It measures about 10cm long and about 5cm in diameter. The shell is fleshy, and inside is a purple-brown seed about 3cm long by 2cm in diameter.
How is it grown?
Being a plant of tropical origin, its cultivation outdoors is only recommended in climates without frost. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where temperatures are mild or warm throughout the year and you would like to grow it, take note:
- Location : Full sun or semi-shade.
- Irrigation : frequent, preventing the soil from drying out before watering.
- Soil : fertile, with good drainage.
- Fertilizer : during the warmer months it should be fertilized with organic fertilizers, such as guano or earthworm humus.
- Planting time : in spring.
- Propagation : by seed in spring and by woody cuttings in late winter.
Uses of nutmeg
Nutmeg is used above all in cooking , in potato stews and in meat dishes. Also to season soups, sauces, croquettes and baked dishes, and to season.
As it has analgesic and digestive properties, it can be used medicinally , but never continuously as it can pose a significant health risk. For this reason, you should never take more than 10 grams of its extract because otherwise we could have vomiting, generalized pain and/or psychotic symptoms.