Herbs – Nutmeg

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One of the most pleasantly aromatic herbs used in magic, nutmeg is actually a seed, or kernel, of the fruit from the Myristica fragrans tree. The shell of the same seeds yields the herb mace. Nutmegs are evergreen trees, native to the rainforest of the “Spice Islands” of Indonesia. Since antiquity, nutmeg has been highly prized for its aromatic, aphrodisiac and medicinal uses.

Nutmeg has a long tradition of helping with a variety of medicinal needs, including being carried to ward off boils, neuralgia, rheumatism and cold sores. Since ancient times, nutmeg and its oil were being used in Chinese and Indian traditional medicines for illnesses related to the nervous and digestive systems. Nutmeg encourages the appetite and aids in digestion. A brief word: nutmeg should be used cautiously, as ingesting large amounts can cause hallucinations; pregnant women should not use nutmeg medicinally at all.

Nutmeg is a masculine herb, associated with the Element of Air (and sometimes Fire) and the planet Jupiter. It is a potent ingredient for any magic, but particularly spells having to do with luck and positive feelings in general. Witches have been known to borrow from other magical traditions such as North American Hoodoo, where nutmeg is prized for its power to bring good luck in games of chance, and will carry whole nutmegs in a pocket or drill holes in them to make nutmeg amulets. In many Wiccan traditions, nutmeg is frequently burned to bring luck, not only in games of chance, but for luck in the courtroom. In addition, nutmeg helps with divination, as well as enhancing perception and helping to see what is below the surface of a given situation.

Nutmeg is also, of course, an herb in which cooking and magic meet. Traditional Western holidays feature nutmeg strongly in cooking, and its warm, inviting, aromatic presence not only makes for delicious food, but also imbues hearth and home with a cozy, loving feeling.