Botanical Name: Myristica fragrans
Once the ingredient in a magical perfume as described in the most famous of all grimoires, (magic textbooks), The Key of Solomon the King nutmeg is an amazing and mystical spice.
Apart from its known culinary uses this spice has also been used as a magical medicine continuing into the twentieth century. Just carrying it was believed to cure anything from backache to boils.
Originating in the Banda Islands of Indonesia, this tree is now also grown in Malaysia, the Caribbean and India. Plant nutmeg in your Rasta tropical garden. Jamaica has many nutmeg trees.
This is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices. Nutmeg is the seed of the tree and mace is the dried “lacy” reddish covering or aril of the seed. Trees take twenty years to reach full production. They are mostly propagated asexually as it is a dioecious plant, meaning it has male and female trees. Epicotyl grafting, patch budding and marcotting are preferred methods.
It is a beautiful tree and has an intriguing seed. In the Caribbean it is often used in drinks such as the Bushwacker, Painkiller and Barbados Rum Punch.
In traditional medicine small doses of it were used for disorders related to the nervous and digestive system. Even a teaspoon of this spice can produce toxic symptoms such as burning in the stomach, nausea, vomiting, restlessness and giddiness with hallucinations so caution should always be exercised when utilizing this spice.