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Spices go beyond just adding flavour and aroma to food. They can help in healing and alleviating certain health problems. Jaiphal or nutmeg is one such spice, but is it safe for children?
Jaiphal is an exotic spice known for its peculiar aroma, sweet taste, and several medicinal properties. To inform you more about this wonder spice, HealthShots reached out to Nafisa Habib, a senior dietitian at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road.
Originally a native of Indonesia, jaiphal comes from the seed of the fruit of an evergreen tree known as Myristica fragrans. This spice contains many nutrients like magnesium, manganese, copper, vitamin B1, B6, high fibre content, and has strong antibacterial properties and antioxidants.
Dr Habib says, “Nutmeg paste can be added to baked items, purees, and even soups. Take a small pinch of nutmeg powder in a warm cup of milk at night. It can de-stress the body and relieve anxiety in babies. Do not go overboard with it at all. You should give it to your babies only in the quantity recommended by the expert.”
Well yes, according to Dr Habib, jaiphal has these benefits for children.
Giving nutmeg to your baby may be beneficial for his/ her tummy. Babies are prone to gas, and adding jaiphal to the diet may keep such problems at bay. It can also reduce stomach cramps in babies.
Did you know that when you mix jaiphal in your baby’s milk, your baby may feel relaxed and calm, and sleep peacefully. Yes, it’s true!
Indigestion is commonly seen in babies as their digestive system is not fully matured. There will be problems such as stomach pain, or even diarrhoea. Thus, jaiphal can be a remedy to help babies overcome these problems.
Is your baby having a cold or cough very often? Then, you can opt for jaiphal. Give it to your baby, and see the magic.
Nutmeg has several bioactive compounds such as eugenol, isoeugenol, and methoxyeugenol, with antioxidant properties that help the baby build a strong immune system.
Whenever something concerns your little baby, we know you will want nothing but the best. And when you plan to get nutmeg for your baby, you should be careful about its side effects.
While this common household spice has many benefits, it has some toxic effects on children as well, especially if the doses are high.
According to Dr Habib, giving it to your baby in more than recommended quantities can trigger allergic reactions. The baby may feel nauseated, and there can be abdominal distress. Even vomiting and diarrhoea can occur. So, parents need to be careful.
Dr Habib says, “A pinch of jaiphal can be added to milk, soups, stews, and even purees. Do not exceed the quantity. Ideally, it will be a great idea to talk to an expert regarding the right amount to be added to the baby’s diet.”