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Nutmeg is the seed or ground spice of several species of the genus Myristica. Myristica fragrans (fragrant nutmeg or true nutmeg) is a dark-leaved evergreen tree cultivated for two spices derived from its fruit: nutmeg, from its seed, and mace, from the seed covering.

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Jathikai in Tamil is called as Nutmeg in English. Jathikai is widely used in Tamil Nadu for the benefits the spice offers. It is also called as Jathikka. It has plenty of nutritional value. It is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Niacin, Folic acid, Ribloflavin, Beta-Carotene.

English Nutmeg
Tamil Jathikai or Jathikka or Jadhikkai
Hindi Jaiphal
Telugu Jaikaaya or Jajikayi
Malayalam Jathikka
Kannada Jaika or Jeerake or Jajikai
Marathi Jaiphal or Jayphal
Gujarathi Jayiphal or Jaiphal
Punjabi and Bengali Jaiphal
Urudu Jaiphal
Oriya Jaiphala
Scientific Name Myristica Fragrans

Health Benefits Of Nutmeg

Nutmeg and mace spice contain many plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have been antioxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.

The spicy nut contains fixed oil trimyristin and many essential volatile oils such as which gives a sweet aromatic flavor to nutmegs such as myristicin, elemicin, eugenol and safrole.

The active principles in nutmeg have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive, and carminative functions.

This spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. The human body uses manganese and copper as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidases enzymes.

It is also rich in many vital B-complex vitamins, including vitamin-C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A and many flavonoid anti-oxidants like beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin that are essential for optimum health.

How To Include Jathikka In Your Diet

Adding a pinch of jathikai powder in warm milk is the simplest way to include in your diet. You can also add them in yogurt, juices, rasam, soups, smoothies. Even some make jathikai pickle too.


Do not add too much of nutmeg powder. A pinch of nutmeg powder is the recommended dosage. It is good to limit yourself to 1 to 2 pinches of Nutmeg powder for adults and 1 swipe for babies and not more than that without medical advice.

Over dosage of nutmeg powder can induce severe side effects like nausea, headaches, dizziness, dry mouth and memory disturbances. It is good to avoid nutmeg during pregnancy.


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