Weekly tips to bring island-inspired wellness into your everyday life from Rosalie Bay Resort wellness coordinator Laura Lund.
You may be familiar with nutmeg, a spice found in households throughout the world and popular at the holidays for its uses in eggnog, pumpkin pie and other festive treats. Nutmeg is popular in the islands year-round for its spice and health benefits.
Native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia, the nutmeg tree is cultivated in many tropical countries including Dominica. The tree produces golden yellow fruits that open vertically downward on opposite sides to reveal a shiny dark brown seed covered by the lace-like mace. In Dominica, the mace is known as “fle miskad” meaning flower of the nutmeg.
After the fruit splits open, the seed is collected and set out to dry in the sun until it begins to shake inside its shell. Then it can be grated and used as a spice to flavor rum punch, cocoa tea, eggnog, corn meal and oats. The fruit’s mace is used in similar ways, but the flavor is spicier and tastes peppery.
Nutmeg is used in local herbal medicine as a stimulant to increase overall circulation and improve digestion. It has also been used for centuries throughout the world to reduce inflammation, pain, stress and fatigue, and for liver and kidney support – although none of these treatments have been proven scientifically.
At Rosalie Bay Resort, we use nutmeg at our spa as a skin mask mixed with milk and honey to improve the overall appearance and tone of the skin as well as decrease fine lines. Fresh grated nutmeg is also used in many drinks and cocktails at Zamaan and Oscar’s Pool Bar, and will of course be used in our holiday menus.
When using nutmeg at home, make sure to always follow the recipes and use only what is recommended as large doses can be toxic.