Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg)
Habitat: Dioecious or occasionally monoecious aromatic tree, about 10-20 m high, found mostly in Tamil Nadu and to some extent in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Assam.
Description: The essential oil derived from Mace is
considered to be the most efficacious. The oil is a potent brain booster. It increases concentration and relieves stress. Mace is an excellent liver tonic. It dissolves kidney stones and prevents infection. The herb is also beneficial for the heart as it stimulates blood circulation. Mace’s anti- inflammatory properties are used to treat joint and muscle aches.
Seed ellipsoid, 20-30 mm long and about 20 mm broad, externally greenish- brown sometimes marked with small irregular dark brown patches or minute dark points and lines slightly furrowed. A small light-coloured area at one end indicating the position of the radicle groove running along the line of raphe to the darker chalaza at the opposite end. Surrounded by a thin layer of perisperm with infoldings appearing as dark ruminations in the abundant greyish-brown endosperm, embryo, in an irregular cavity, small with two widely spreading crumpled cotyledons and a small radicle odour, strong and aromatic, taste, pungent and aromatic.
Transverse section of endosperm shows peripheral perisperm, of several layers of strongly, flattened polyhederal cells with brown contents, or containing prismatic crystals. Inner layer of perisperm of thin-walled parenchyma about 40 µ thick, infolding into the tissue of the endosperm to form the ruminations containing numerous, very large oil cells with brown cell walls. Vascular
strands, in the peripheral region, numerous small spiral vessels, large celled, endosperm, parenchymatous. With occasional tannin idioblasts with thin brown walls, containing numerous simple, rounded and compound starch grains, with up to about 10 components usually 2-8 individual grains, up to 20 µ in diameter present, most of the cells with crystalline fat and often a large aleurone grain in each cell, containing a rhombic protein crystal up to 12 µ and small aleurone grains with less regular crystalloids, embryo, of shrivelled and collapsed parenchyma.