If your only encounter with nutmeg is through pumpkin pies and eggnog during the winter holidays, then you are not taking full advantage of the stimulating properties of this luscious spice. Actually, lusty may be a more appropriate adjective, for nutmeg has been used for centuries in the Middle East, the Orient, and Africa as an effective aphrodisiac. In some countries, nutmeg has the distinction of being known as the “Viagra for women”.
Now, men, do I have your upright attention? Nature has provided us with a little round jewel in the form of the nutmeg. Use it well.
Nutmeg History and Lore
Nutmeg (Myristica Fragrans) originated from the Spice Islands of Indonesia. It was introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages via the Venetians, by way of the Arabs who traded on the Spice Route. Nutmeg was so expensive that it was considered a sign of opulence and immense wealth to be able to spice your food and bed with nutmeg. During the 17th century, the Dutch gained control of the Banda Islands (where nutmeg was grown) and, sad to say, decimated its inhabitants in order to monopolize the cultivation and distribution of nutmeg. Eventually, however, the British did usurp the Dutch by planting nutmeg trees in Asia and Africa. As a result, nutmeg became wildly available, and we no longer need to pay a king’s ransom for this exotic spice.
Right then, that’s the brief history. Now for the lore of myristica fragrans, with a sprinkling of medicinal use, for good measure.
Nutmeg has been used as a healing agent for ailments ranging from rheumatism, to digestive disorders, to enhancing memory, and preventing pre-mature ejaculation. During medieval times it was highly coveted as protection against the plague. (Perhaps it did confer some benefit, as nutmeg oil does contain compounds which are antimicrobial.)
On a more sensual note, nutmeg as an aphrodisiac is well documented throughout the Middle East, India, and China. It is often added to love potions, and was prescribed by physicians to increase circulation and heat in frigid patients.
And as mentioned at the beginning of this post, nutmeg can make women more flirtatious. From Zanzibar, a journalist reported that women celebrating a wedding feast were unusually vivacious and tipsy, without alcohol. On further investigation, he found out that the women had started their day with porridge spiced with nutmeg!
So, feeling the urge to spice up your life with nutmeg? Adding it to a bowl of oatmeal is a good start. It is also delicious grated over sauteed spinach, or added to mashed sweet potatoes. Don’t forget the butter. Also, do read the cautionary note on the use of nutmeg at the end of this post.
If you want a super easy dessert to heighten her desires after dinner, try this:
Nutmeg Lollicubes with Maple Syrup
- 1 cup yogurt, full fat and organic
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
- 5 -6 dates, pitted and chopped
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- plus more to drizzle onto the Lollicubes before servingMakes approximately 8 – 10 lollicubes, or just right for two to enjoy.
Mix the yogurt, grated nutmeg, and maple syrup in a bowl. Then pour into an ice cube tray.
Place in the freezer and allow the lollicubes to set. About 5 hours.
When they are firmly set, pop them out and grate a little more nutmeg over them, then drizzle additional maple syrup to taste.
Caution: Nutmeg contains a chemical called myristicin, which is a mild monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Ingesting large quantities of nutmeg can cause unpleasant physical reactions, such as nausea, circulatory problems, and anxiety attacks. Small amounts used in cooking is just fine and delicious, but refrain from using large quantities. (Ingesting more than 2 tablespoons is too much! That is approximately the amount of one whole kernel, grated.) Women who are pregnant are also cautioned not to use nutmeg.
You can also add nutmeg to meat dishes for extra richness. I love to add about 1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg to meatloaf. By the way, nutmeg is also a potent aphrodisiac for men.
Visit me on the next post for the juicy details and more enticing recipes.
Your Kitchen Seduction Ally,
Curious about aphrodisiacs?
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