The Mace Tree

Heard a lot about Mace essential oil…its numerous benefits…highly impressive…one of those things that if you have one…you are sorted for an amazingly long time…

All good and all nice…Mace essential oil…But what if one can keep the whole source of this tree with oneself?

Didn’t get it? What I mean to say is…Grow a Mace tree in your backyard…not too bad an idea…what say?

Hmm…Let me help you with that…I’ll brief you from the scratch as to what all are you supposed to do…to grow this magic tree in your backyard…

Started from its origination…The nutmeg tree or call it the Mace tree…scientif name being Myristica fragrans…is native to Moluccas in East Indonesia…famously called the Spice Islands…The first commercial or I should say the official commercial plantations were in Granada…This Tree yields two spices…nutmeg which is the kernel of the seed…and mace which is the net like crimson colored leathery outer growth (called aril) covering the shell of the seed…Nutmeg and mace are the fruits of a spreading evergreen tree that grows to a height of 20m….Mainly it is produced in these countries-

  • Indonesia
  • Grenada
  • Sri Lanka
  • Trinidad
  • China
  • India

Okay…what all is needed to grow the tree is…

This tree requires a deep…well-drained loamy sandy soil…Shade is required for the first two to three years….Temperature between 20-30°C and the annual rainfall between 1500-2500mm is enough for its lush growth…

It’s an unfortunate thing but half the trees are male and hence they do not produce any kind of fruit…And to add on to the helplessness…the sex of the plants cannot be identified until they are six to eight years old…But relax…that is like the only sad part to it…

When it’s comes to propagation…Then Propagation should be from mother trees selected for their regular bearing…high yields…large nuts and heavy mace…And as a matter of fact…Mace is also an excellent spice…When talking of the quantitative criteria for selection…it is as below…

  1. Large number of fruits per tree ….over 10 000 per year
  2. Wet weight of fruits ….over 30g per fruit
  3. Wet weight of mace….over 1g per fruit
  4. Wet weight of nuts….over 10g per nut

To ensure the best quality of the tree…The soil should consist of a mixture of measures of-

  • Well-composted manure…
  • Topsoil…
  • Coarse sand…

For enhancements…One per cent rock phosphate can be added to the mixture…The seeds should be lightly buried so that part of the shell is exposed…they should be watered and left in the shade to germinate…Germination takes between four and eight weeks…The seedlings should remain in the shade for six to eight months…

Then for your further information…Before field plantin…temporary shade from either of the following has to be established…

  • Gliricidia…
  • Dadap…
  • Cocoa
  • Banana

And remember this shading and all should strictly be done six to twelve months before planting…And also note that the seedlings are planted at the beginning of the rainy season…There should be bench terracing at the base of the seedling…particularly on sloping land…of approximately half a meter in diameter…Inward sloping terracing will help to keep soil erosion to a minimum…The terracing can be increased as the tree grows…

Then coming to the part of parasites…The top one being…Weeds…Weds should be kept in check by occasional slashing and the cut material can be applied to the base of the trees in the form of mulch…Additional fertilizer is not generally applied…

Shading can be gradually removed after two to three years…Seedlings can be planted close together so that later on when the male trees have been identified…after the first flowering of course…most of them can be removed…as they do not bear fruit. Some male trees must remain for pollination; a ratio of 1:10 is common…

As we go further…again it is important for you to note that pruning will help to maintain flower…fruit and seed production…Water shoots…upright branches…dead wood…and some lower branches can be removed….

As such there’s nothing much to worry except for this disease called Nutmeg Wilt…occurrence of which will make the plant wilt and drop leaves and fruit…Sadly there is no definitive treatment…Fruit rot has been recorded in India and a  thread blight in Grenada and Trinidad…This can be a case that the soil fungi attack nutmeg trees…The main pests are borers…or bark beetles…which are small dark brown weevils about 3mm long…

Hmm…I think that is enough information for you to go a full-fledged tree in your backyard…For more info…consult our reference links…

  1. Mace by helpwithcooking.com
  2. Mace Family by bpb
  3. Nutmeg by science.jrank.org

Mace Oil’s Composition

Mace essential oil is a very potent combination of wonderful compounds that elevate the goodness of the oil, notches higher. The oil is highly antiseptic in nature and is often recommended for preparing healthy and healing recipes.

It is thought that the ancients knew nutmeg and mace, but by the twelfth century, the spices had definitely reached the Mediterranean, brought by Arab traders. Not long after, the School of Salerno recorded the poisonous effect of using too much nutmeg; they praised its cardiac effects, but recorded haemorrhage and fatalities if used in large doses. ‘Unica nux prodest, nocet altera, tertia necat’ (One nut is good, another is less good, the third kills).

For years, both spices were the monopoly of first the Portuguese and then the Dutch, until Pierre Poivre smuggled some young trees from the Spice Islands. When the Moluccas were part of the British Empire, trees were transplanted to the West Indies, where they thrived.

In the eighteenth century, nutmeg and mace were included in French codices and in the nineteenth century, Pulligny wrote a book of876 pages entirely devoted to the nutmeg tree and its spices.

In folk medicine, carrying a nutmeg in the pocket is reputedly a cure for lumbago and rheumatism.

Nutmeg oil and mace oil both contain myristicine, with small quantities of -

  • Borneol
  • Camphene
  • Cymol
  • Dipentenegeraniol
  • Linalool
  • Pinene
  • Sapol
  • Terpineol
  • Acetic
  • Butyric
  • Caprilic
  • Formic
  • Myristic acids

The main producers of the oils are the USA, Canada and Singapore (of nutmeg respectively 20 – 30 tonnes, 5 – 10 tonnes, and 1 – 2 tonnes per year, 1987 figures). The USA is the largest consumer of nutmeg oil (30 tonnes), followed by Britain with 10 tonnes.

Nutmeg oil is steam-distilled from nuts crushed to a butter; oil from the islands is re-distilled in France to improve the quality. Mace is steam-distilled from the arils. Both oils are similar, very pale yellow and very fluid. Nutmeg smells spicy, pleasant and hot, mace very strongly spicy. Both oils change as they become old, turning dark brown and smelling disagreeable, acidic and turpentine-like – do not buy or use if like this.

Have a look at our reference links now -

  1. Mace info by www.drugs.com
  2. Mace and nutmeg fruit by Spices
  3. Mace by Mrs.M.Grieve

Mace Oil – At Your Service

Mace essential oil is one amazing essential oil that works for about ill of humans and in some cases even of cats and dogs…The oil has a great reputation among manufacturers of the essential oils…

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) has been used for centuries, particularly as a remedy for kidney and digestive problems; Nutmeg oil is obtained from an evergreen tree of the Myristicaeae plant family. The tree grows up to sixty five feet in height with small, yellow flowers and fruit, shaped like a small peach; the bark of the tree is smooth and gray-brown in color. It is native to the Molucca Islands and cultivated in the West Indies, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

It is dried seed of the nutmeg tree fruit which belongs to the genus Myristica. It is a tiny package with various big benefits. It is used for medicinal purpose and also for culinary purpose. Nutmeg is also recognized as –

  • Jaiphal
  • Myristica
  • Muscdier
  • Myristica fragrans
  • Mace
  • Noz moscada
  • Magic
  • Muskatbaum
  • Nuez moscada
  • Nux moschata

Nutmeg tree grows in Malaysia, Indonesia, West Indies and SriLanka as well as produce both nutmeg and mace. Mace is the lacy reddish membrane of the seed which is also used as the spice.

Ancient Indian and Chinese royalty carried ground Nutmeg in small, ivory boxes and added the substance to drinks for hallucinogenic reasons; in Malaysia, pregnant women used Nutmeg in the final weeks of their confinement in the belief it would strengthen the uterine muscle for labor. The Romans used Nutmeg to make incense.

Nutmeg was considered to be a valuable spice for trading; both the British and the French smuggled Nutmeg seeds in the eighteenth century. By the nineteenth century, ground Nutmeg was being used in many English recipes; it became a popular addition to Christmas eggnog in the United States.

Nutmeg oil is obtained from the kernel of the fruit and the outer layer of the fruit also produces another spice, Mace; the essential oil of Nutmeg is extracted by steam distillation of the kernel seed. Nutmeg oil is primarily made up of the chemical component of monoterpenes hydrocarbons (including camphene, dipentene, pinene, sabinene and cymene) but also includes geraniol, borneol and linalol.
Alright, have a look at our reference links now…

  1. Mace Spice by India Net Zone
  2. Mace Spice by Wise Geek
  3. Mace Substitute by about.com

Mace – The Ace Oil

Mace essential oil, another wonder of the earth. Though it isn’t counted amongst the 7 wonders of the earth, but trust me it’s no less. The oil has properties that can render even the most aware wonder-struck.

Ancient Indian and Chinese royalty carried ground Nutmeg in small, ivory boxes and added the substance to drinks for hallucinogenic reasons; in Malaysia, pregnant women used Nutmeg in the final weeks of their confinement in the belief it would strengthen the uterine muscle for labor. The Romans used Nutmeg to make incense.

Nutmeg was considered to be a valuable spice for trading; both the British and the French smuggled Nutmeg seeds in the eighteenth century. By the nineteenth century, ground Nutmeg was being used in many English recipes; it became a popular addition to Christmas eggnog in the United States.

Mace the tree is a small evergreen, not more than 40 feet in height, with smooth, grayish-brown bark, green on the younger branches. The alternate leaves are oblong-ovate, acute, entire, smooth, and dark-green. The flowers are very small and unisexual. The fruits, smooth and yellow, resemble a pear grooved by a longitudinal furrow and containing a single erect seed about 1 1/4 inches long. The nucleus being the wrinkled nutmeg. The fleshy, irregular covering, scarlet when fresh and drying, yellow and brittle, is the mace. The essential oil is made by steam (or water) distillation of the dried orange-brown aril or husk.

The Properties of this oil being –

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-emetic
  • Antioxidant
  • Antiseptic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Carminative
  • Digestive
  • Emmenagogue
  • Larvicidal
  • Stimulant
  • Tonic

Mace essential oil, can be used for flatulent dyspepsia, nausea, diarrhea, dysentery and rheumatism. Both Mace and Nutmeg help digestion in stomach weakness, but if used in excess may cause over-excitement. They increase circulation and body heat. They have been employed in pestilential and putrid fevers, and with other substances in intermittent fevers, and enter into the composition of many French medicaments.

Mace essential oil, Myristica fragrans,  blends well with the following essential oils: oak moss, lavandin, bay leaf, Peru balsam, orange, Geranium, clary sage, rosemary, lime, petitgrain, mandarin, coriander, and other spice oils.

Cautions – Mace is generally non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. However, used in large doses there may be signs of toxicity such as nausea, stupor, and tachycardia, believed to be due to the myristcin content.

Alright, have a look at our reference links –

  1. Mace Essential Oil by About
  2. Mace Spice by Wise Geek
  3. Mace Oil by Net

Mace Oil – Significant Spice

Mace essential oil is one wonderful essential oil that deals with quite a lot many internal and external problems of the human body very effectively. The oil is absolutely pure and that can be owed to the fact that the souce of the oil is strong and pure.

Mace essential oil, can be used for flatulent dyspepsia, nausea, diarrhea, dysentery and rheumatism. Both Mace and Nutmeg help digestion in stomach weakness, but if used in excess may cause over-excitement. They increase circulation and body heat. They have been employed in pestilential and putrid fevers, and with other substances in intermittent fevers, and enter into the composition of many French medicaments.

The fruits, smooth and yellow, resemble a pear grooved by a longitudinal furrow and containing a single erect seed about 1 1/4 inches long. The nucleus being the wrinkled nutmeg. The fleshy, irregular covering, scarlet when fresh and drying, yellow and brittle, is the mace. The essential oil is made by steam (or water) distillation of the dried orange-brown aril or husk.

Mace the tree is a small evergreen, not more than 40 feet in height, with smooth, grayish-brown bark, green on the younger branches. The alternate leaves are -Oblong-ovate

  • Acute
  • Entire
  • Smooth
  • Dark-green

The flowers are very small and unisexual.

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) has been used for centuries, particularly as a remedy for kidney and digestive problems; nutmeg oil is obtained from an evergreen tree of the Myristicaeae plant family. The tree grows up to sixty five feet in height with small, yellow flowers and fruit, shaped like a small peach; the bark of the tree is smooth and gray-brown in color. It is native to the Molucca Islands and cultivated in the West Indies, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Ancient Indian and Chinese royalty carried ground nutmeg in small, ivory boxes and added the substance to drinks for hallucinogenic reasons; in Malaysia, pregnant women used nutmeg in the final weeks of their confinement in the belief it would strengthen the uterine muscle for labor. The Romans used nutmeg to make incense.

Nutmeg was a valuable spice for trading; both the British and the French smuggled nutmeg seeds in the eighteenth century. By the nineteenth century, ground nutmeg was being used in many English recipes; it became a popular addition to Christmas eggnog in the United States.

Go through our reference links now -

  1. Mace info by www.drugs.com
  2. Mace and nutmeg fruit by Spices
  3. Mace by Mrs.M.Grieve

Nutmeg…Mace…One on One

Often I hear people confusing nutmeg and mace…Today with this article I’m going to take the initiative and clear all possible confusion for all you doubtful lovers of Mace and Nutmeg…

Mace and nutmeg…call them sisters….brothers… (I’d stick to ‘sisters’ cause they are ‘spicy’ *wink) Anyway…Okay now these two spices are twins…because they are both parts of the fruit of  Myristica frangrans; I am sure you have heard the name? If not… you may also know it as the nutmeg tree.

Now to differentiate between the two separately…I have prepared a few key points…highlighting what you seek…the real difference between nutmeg and mace…

  • Okay…Mace consists of the vein-like threads that cover the dried fruit…while nutmeg is the kernel inside the seed…rather like the kernel inside a peach stone…
  • Mace threads…or blades…are chopped or ground and the nutmeg kernel is ground or grated…
  • Both are traditional flavorings for sweets including- Custards….Cakes…desserts… and other savory dishes…especially fish…spinach…pasta and quiche…Okay I this one was actually the point of congruence rather than a difference between the two..

Now I’m sure you can understand the confusion which does the rounds regarding these two spices…These two similar spices from a single fruit… The confusion is nothing new, it’s a confusion which has been present throughout history….spice lore tells the tale of an English merchant who visited a Ceylon nutmeg plantation and…after learning that mace was worth more than nutmeg…declared…that they should pay more emphasis on the production of mace than nutmeg

Then there are some spice historians who say that mace may not have been considered a spice until long after nutmeg became popular…since it is not included in early European descriptions of spice use from 3rd and 4th centuries…However…cooking with nutmeg in India extends to ancient times…

Another fact from history is that the Arab traders introduced nutmeg to the West sometime in the 6th century…It eventually became as valuable as gold and was among the spices that prompted the European exploration of the world….

This might be quite surprising for you to know but….Nutmeg has been flavoring in beverages…and still is…like Coca Cola…which reportedly includes it in its secret recipe…Astonishing no? A spice (literally) used in a beverage like coca cola…

This…one can attribute to the flavoring qualities of nutmeg and mace…which are spicier than most people expect…Despite their use in mild dishes like custard and stewed fruit…nutmeg and mace actually include some of the same oils that flavor pepper and cloves

Another controversial thing which might attract youngsters to these spices is that nutmeg and mace also contain hallucinogens, and can be fatally toxic if used in a large quantity…you know like…eating an entire nutmeg…However…the small quantities normally used in cooking are considered safe…

Cooks and chefs all over the world…have vacillated through the years over the desirability of mace versus nutmeg…No wonder at times…people seem to have wanted what was harder to come by…and priced mace much higher than nutmeg due to the unavailability of mace….

And ladies and gentlemen…Today…nutmeg’s flavor is considered warm and well matched to food…and appetizing…Mace is described…somewhat contradictorily…as more subtle and spicier…a combination of cinnamon and pepper…Some books describe mace as the stronger flavor and some say nutmeg…The flavor is closely related to freshness…and fresh mace is stronger than nutmeg sold already ground….Still for most purposes…mace and nutmeg are interchangeable….

So in on you to decide the ultimate winner among the two after usage…

Have a look at our reference links…

  1. Mace and Nutmeg by Nancy L. Nelson
  2. Nutmeg Vs Mace by Cooking Forums
  3. Mace and Nutmeg by foodbanter.com