Is nutmeg an aphrodisiac?
Nutmeg has been used for its medicinal properties for more than 5,000 years. For the ancient Arabs, nutmeg benefits included treating nausea, shortness of breath and even skin disorders. The Hindus embraced the spice for its more sensual properties as a stimulant. For them, it was a treatment to raise body heat. They also used it to sweeten breath. And at at least one point in history, it was used as a treatment for low male libido.
What is nutmeg?
The nutmeg we know as a baking spice is the seed of the nutmeg tree. It is typically sold as a ground spice and this is how most recipes call for it. But you can sometimes purchase whole nutmeg seeds. (Grinding nutmeg yourself offers a fresher flavor but it does require more work.)
Nutmeg benefits for men
Although the Hindus could not have known what modern science has allowed us to discover, it seems their use of nutmeg as a sexual stimulant for men was on the mark. A scientific study published in 2005 demonstrated that, in the proper dose, nutmeg increased libido in male rats. The implication is that it, with further study, this spice can be used as a powerful, natural treatment for sexual disorders in men.
This wasn’t the first study of its kind on nutmeg and men’s sexual function, nor the last. But it still isn’t really clear exactly how nutmeg’s effect on libido actually works or specifically how it can be harnessed. But for those with curiosity, it can’t hurt to add nutmeg as an aphrodisiac to your cooking.
Although it’s clear that nutmeg is an aphrodisiac for some, this baking spice may be better known as a narcotic. In large doses it can be hallucinogenic. In even larger doses, it is fatal. It is associated with the death of several individuals who used the spice for its potential psychoactive properties. So if you are interested in using nutmeg for libido, it is best to stick with traditional recipes that incorporate the spice or perhaps steeping it as a nutmeg tea than trying to take large quantities on your own.
Additional nutmeg benefits
Those who use nutmeg as it is intended shouldn’t fear its dangerous side. In fact, this baking spice has many benefits to overall health that will have you looking for more ways to cook with spices.
You may be surprised to learn that nutmeg is high in antioxidants. And in studies it proved to reduce cellular damage in rats. Not enough studies have been performed with human subject to know just how beneficial nutmeg is in fighting cell damage but it certainly shows potential.
Nutmeg also has anti-inflammatory properties and it may support heart health. Early studies also show that this warming spice may have mood boosting abilities. That’s a wealth of health potential for the seed of a tree!
In the modern kitchen, we love nutmeg for its scent. It evokes all the warmth and comfort of home, of fresh baked spice cake, long winter nights by the fire, snowstorms and sleigh rides. It’s connection with the comforts of the kitchen and of Mom perhaps explain why it’s known to have more effect on men than on women!
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