Mace is a spice native to the Moluccas obtained from the internal part of the fruit of a tree, Myristica fragrans. From the same tree is obtained also nutmeg that comes, on the contrary, from the seed and has a more intense and less sweet taste than mace. Mace has vitamins, such as A, C and group B, and mineral salts, such as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, selenium and phosphorus, it contains also antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, very useful to counteract free radicals. In addition to this, according to Chinese traditional medicine and Ayurveda, mace is also able to protect the nervous system by helping in case of depression and anxiety and, thanks to a substance contained in the spice, the eugenol, mace results anti-inflammatory and with painkilling properties. In particular, the spice seems to have a soothing and calming action in case of pain caused by colic, toothache, arthritis and rheumatism. Moreover, mace acts as a gastrointestinal disinfectant, is able to improve digestion, because it stimulates the production of gastric juices, finally it counteracts the formation of intestinal gases. For what concerns the use of mace it can be added to the dishes as a spice but it can also be used to prepare herbal teas or as an essential oil. Don’t exaggerate with the use of mace because at high doses it can cause nausea, sweating, vomit but also hallucination. Avoid during pregnancy, in small children or if you are taking psycho pharmaceuticals because of the interaction with the central nervous system of myristicin, a substance contained in the spice. In general, if you are taking medicines always ask your doctor for advice.
You can use a pinch of mace in order to make your recipes tastier, just like nutmeg. You can add it to mashed potatoes, sauce or rice preparations as well as soups.
You can find dried mace in herbalist’s shops in order to prepare a calming and digestive drink. Bring to boil a cup of water, as soon as it reaches the boiling remove it from the heat and add a teaspoon of dried mace, let it brew for ten minutes, then filter and drink after meals. This tea has a digestive action and is able to bring relief in case of abdominal spasm.
There is also mace essential oil, useful to counteract pain and inflammations of joints and muscles. You can indeed add a couple of drops of this essential oil to a tablespoon of a plant based oil, for example sweet almond oil, and use this mix to do massages.