The nutmeg tree originated from the Malaku islands of Indonesia and is cultivated in most parts of Southeast Asia. Over the century, the demand of nutmeg has been increased which leads to its widespread cultivation in certain parts of Indonesia & Penang island in Peninsular Malaysia. The nutmeg natural habitat is the lowland tropical rain-forest with an annual rainfall of 2,000 to 3,500 mm.
Nutmeg are often used as spices, and as a flavoring for cooking. The oil of the nutmeg is known for its medicinal values and it is used to treat indigestion, distended stomach, rheumatism and various pains. Some uses it to flavour toothpaste, shampoos, soaps and health tonics.
Mace derives from the nutmeg fruit and is found enveloping firmly around the nutmeg kernel. Nutmeg and mace indeed are two separate spice products of same nutmeg fruit. However, mace characteristically has higher concentration of certain essential oils and features refined yet intense aroma than nutmeg.
Nonetheless, it contains some of the anti-oxidant compounds essential oils, minerals, and vitamins. It is less in calories, however, has more concentrations of essential oils such as vitamin A, vitamin C, carotene, iron, calcium.