Being an insomniac which was in its peak during my pregnancy, my doctor who was keen that I get some sleep introduced me to the spice, nutmeg. I had to grate nutmeg, stir about 3-4 pinches of it in a glass of warm milk and drink it just before I wanted to sleep. Strangely, this had a very calming effect on me. And I still use this on days ( and nights) when I am sleep deprived. Nutmeg is a very common spice found in the kitchens of India. However, it is not a spice that can be used in daily cooking. When I googled about this spice, I was quite surprised to know not only about its medicinal values but also ways in which it could be used in a beauty regime. Here are few DIY masks and scrubs.
Take about 3-4 pinches of grated nutmeg an mix it with half a teaspoon of honey. Apply this on the places you have acne. Leave it for about 20 minutes and then wash it with cool water. You can use aloe vera gel post this application for better results. If the nutmeg stings, you may be allergic to it, so do not use it. Since honey tends to get sticky, I tried to use this same with milk, I used just enough milk to make a paste. You will need to use this very regularly to see the difference.
Why Nutmeg, you may want to ask? Here is why: Nutmeg is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been used since ancient times for a variety of skin diseases. Because nutmeg is known to also have anti-inflammatory properties, its essential oils have been used to treat muscles and joint pain as well as increase blood circulation. It has also been used for ages to detoxify the body.
Now, another spice that is commonly found in the Indian kitchens is cinnamon. Cinnamon is known to exfoliate the skin gently and effectively. Try this mask at home. Take half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon ( make it as fine as you can) and half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Mix these powders with a teaspoon of honey. If you want it thinner, add a few drops of rose water to it. You will need to apply a really thin layer on the face and neck. When it dries, wet your hands and pat your face with the wet hands. Now gently scrub the face and neck in circular motions. The cinnamon will exfoliate the dead skin.
Lentils ( dals) is another food item that is commonly found in the Indian kitchens. Take a handful of masoor dal ( I think these are known as red lentils in English) and grind it into a fine powder, ensure that this is stored in an airtight container. Take a tablespoon of the powdered lentils and add quarter a teaspoon of ground nutmeg powder and a tablespoon and a half of honey to this. This will make quite a thick paste. If you want this a little watery, use a few drops of rose water to thin it. Apply on the face and neck and leave it in for 20 minutes. When it dries, wet your hands and pat your face with the wet hands. Now gently scrub the face and neck in circular motions. This particular lentil is used in a lot of scrubs because it exfoliates the skin really well. This particular scrub is really effective on the nose area, especially on the areas which is covered with blackheads.
If you try any of these masks or scrubs, please do leave a feedback and let me know how it suited you!