Mace, Myristica fragrans, is a spice. Mace comes from the “spice islands” now known as Indonesia. Mace and nutmeg come from the same plant. Mace is the dried outer bands that surrounds the nutmeg kernel. These bands are called arils. The arils are removed from the nutmeg seed and dried. They are then ground to powder. Mace is used in the culinary world for roasting meats or in pastries, donuts, and cakes. It tastes a lot like nutmeg but a little more bitter and with a touch of pepper.
Mace has health benefits. It has traditionally used for problems like nausea, diarrhea and gas. Mace has some anti-anxiety effects. It is also thought to help depression. In Chinese medicine it is used as a massage oil to help relieve pain in the muscles and joints. They also used it for bruises and sores. Mace is sometimes used in cough syrups. According to folklore it boosts the appetite and increases blood circulation.
Mace is anti-depressant, digestive and carminative (relieves gas). Mace contains volatile oils like myristicin, elemicin, eugenol and safrole. Mace has vitamins A, B, and C, thiamine, folate and niacin. Mace also has calcium, magnesium, copper. phosphorus, potassium, and iron. A one tablespoon serving has 24.9 calories, 0.4 g of protein, and 2.7 g of carbohydrates.
A decoction made with mace and honey is useful for digestive problems. To make a decoction use 1 ounce of dried herb or 2 ounces of fresh herb and 1 pint of water. Bring to a boil, then turn it down to medium and let it simmer 10-20 minutes depending on how strong you want it. Add honey or sweetener of choice. It can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 72 hours.
Consuming large portions of mace may cause sweating, palpitations and headaches. If you want to use mace for health purposes, be sure to talk it over with your health care practitioner. Some medications do not mix well with mace.
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