Smallflower is our in-house, private label brand. We’re thrilled to bring you high quality herbs, home fragrances, gift bundles and more. Our goal is to create a modern apothecary experience by providing unique, hard-to-find personal care items and a compassionate customer experience that mirrors what you’ll find in our brick and mortar store, Merz Apothecary.
A Quintessential Fall & Holiday Spice
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) is a spice made from the dried seed of a tropical evergreen tree of the same name. The Nutmeg tree is native to Banda, the largest of the Maluku, or spice islands in Indonesia. This tiny region is the only area the Nutmeg tree grew, and for centuries, very few people knew the origin of this popular spice, making it increasingly sought after and a contended asset in an already volatile and often violent spice trade. It was being used as flavoring and fragrance mostly, but because it has hallucinogenic properties in high doses, it became popular with wealthy, European men who would lace their beverages with it. By the 16th century its origin was located, and once the British took control of the East Indies, they managed to take and replant seedlings of Nutmeg in a wider area. Nutmeg was then available to the masses and not just the extremely wealthy.
Many found medicinal value in nutmeg for digestive complaints and pain, and often used it as an aphrodisiac. Its essential oil content gives it some antibacterial properties too, especially for oral health. Nutmeg is often used as an ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash. Nutmeg, perhaps most importantly, is widely heralded as the flagship spice of the fall and holiday seasons, garnishing seasonal soups and stews, pumpkin spice lattes and of course, eggnog. Nutmeg is nutty and slightly sweet with a strong and pleasantly distinct aroma, and is best used freshly ground from the whole seed.