N. sativa (L.) is easily grown in any good garden soil, preferring a light soil in a warm, sunny position. This species is often cultivated, especially in western Asia and India, for its edible seed, which is aromatic, with a nutmeg scent. It is a greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of other plants nearby, especially legumes, and can be transplanted if necessary (Huxley, 1992).
Like many aromatic culinary herbs, the seeds of N. sativa are beneficial for the digestive system, soothing stomach pains and spasms, and easing wind, bloating and colic; it is a carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactagogue, laxative, and stimulant. An infusion is used in the treatment of digestive and menstrual disorders, insufficient lactation, and bronchial complaints. The seeds are much used in India to increase the flow of milk in nursing mothers, and can be used to treat intestinal worms, especially in children. The seed is also ground into a powder, mixed with sesame oil, and used externally to treat abscesses, hemorrhoids, and orchitis (Huxley, 1992).
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